Each winter morning around 7 a. m. I open the shades of our kitchen window hoping to see one of God’s beautiful sunrises. This morning I was blessed to see the sky on fire with reds, pinks and grays in layers. At the bottom of the horizon it resembled a forest fire. By establishing a routine I am much more likely to view this marvelous sight than I would be with a random approach.
Most parents raise their children using routine acts which they hope will become habits. Eating with a spoon instead of their hands, potty training, sharing and tying their shoes are just a few examples. Imagine the stress and frustration of a child without routines.
Sometimes routines may seem dull, uninteresting and commonplace and cause one to desire some variety. However, unwavering habitual behavior has its rewards. What if the highway department decided to constantly change the traffic patterns every morning before one’s daily commute? Loss of time and anger would probably result. So many of our habits gained through routine have become so ingrained that muscle memory takes over from planning. Humans can change routines and habits with desire and persistence and they can also multi-task. So, is routine a good thing or a bad thing? The answer, of course, is yes!
Much of our Christian walk is routine. Prayers, Bible study, worship, trust, giving, service and love need to be done as a regular procedure. These acts will not become dull and uninteresting if we remind ourselves of the reason behind them. In all our service and devotion to God and our Lord Jesus there can be variety and excitement. Each lost soul is a challenge and each act of kindness presents a new perspective. The Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day could not tolerate any changes in their routines and viewed His teaching as a threat. Ironically, they often added new traditions to the Old Law (Mt 15: 3-9).
Many of the New Testament teachings urge consistent behavior in prayers (Lk 18:1) (Eph 6: 18) (1Th 5:17), love (Jo 15:10) (Rom 13:8) (1 Cor 13:8), giving (2 Cor 8: 1-15), and growth (2 Pe 3:18) (2 Th 1:3) (1 Pe 2:2). It is a good thing to routinely practice these commandments with joy, thanksgiving and awe and not allow them to become dull or unimaginative which would be a bad thing.