Are they good or are they bad? Are they helpful or harmful?
As I ponder this, another question comes to mind. How could my routine, a routine that has served me so well, be anything but good? I seldom forget anything if I stick to my routine, but if I veer from my routine I can’t even remember my morning coffee. Well let’s not go that far, like I could EVER forget my morning cup of coffee!!!
Simple Definition of routine
: a regular way of doing things in a particular order
: a boring state or situation in which things are always done the same way
: a series of things (such as movements or jokes) that are repeated as part of a performance
Merriam-Webster’s definition does not make routines sound favorable. And, yes, if I think about it, I can get into a rut. I often find myself needing a change. So much so, that I do something drastic, like rip apart a whole dining room and make it into an office. Thus creating horrible upheaval for my family (but at least it got me out of my rut!). So, in this instance, I would have to say that my routine did not serve me very well.
On the flip side, my children have a morning routine and an evening routine. These routines provide them, as well as their parents, freedom from stress. Before these routines were in place we often had pandemonium morning and night. Not the best way to start and end the day, I can tell you!!
TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING
I think routines can be good. But as the old adage says…
Take exercise and work. If I were to continually do the same exercise, or repeat the same motion over and over again at work, my joints, ligaments and muscles would start to deteriorate. (BTW, if my words are hitting home, I know a couple of great therapists that can help with that!) So there’s another good reason to change up my routine.
This morning during my quiet time I came upon this in Jesus Calling:
“Do not blindly follow your habitual route, or you will miss what I have prepared for you.”
How often do I methodically go through the day, numb to what’s going on around me? I cruise on auto-pilot through my days. At the grocery store I follow the same route and buy the same food. I take the same way home every day. I have even gotten mad when my parking space, the one I always park in, is taken. You would think my name was on it or something!?!
By being methodical and boring and following my routine, I do limit the amount of decisions I have to make in a day, which is nice I guess. My routine has worked for me so far, so why change it? It’s actually a scary thing to change things up and step out in faith and try something different. Familiarity feels peaceful, but is it really? I think it’s a false sense of peace. If my routine gets messed up, and I get all flustered, is that peace? Nope! Actually the fear of stepping out of a routine can cause anxiety. So how can a routine really bring peace?
All of this pondering has brought a Bible verse to mind:
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21
That verse gives me peace! It says to me, that whether or not I follow a routine, my Lord has my back! This thought builds my faith and my trust which in turn allows me to take a leap and try something new. Tomorrow I think I’ll take a new way home. Just kidding!! But seriously, if I know that the Lord’s purposes will stand, and I know that His purposes are good, then what have I got to lose???