EXERPTS FROM EDDIE
As fall approaches and summer ends, the thing that I look most forward to with school starting back up is that the kids have a routine again. This means that Sarah and I have a routine again too. While I thoroughly enjoy having my children home, well when I am home and not working (Sarah deals with them much more than I do), it feels far more chaotic and unstructured. It seems to me that chaos is the opposite of productivity and feeling collected and like I am in a “good place”. So, I like my routines.
Here’s the thing about routines though; in my experience, they seem to be rooted in ruts.
Nobody wants to be stuck in a rut. A rut is the metaphorical equivalent of being beneath the surface; of the possibility of becoming stuck and no longer moving anywhere! Not forward, not backward, just stuck. So then, yet again, we find ourselves in this tension between routines that provide for order and structure and not letting them become ruts in which we become so comfortable we simply stop moving forward.
What if there was a different way to talk about routines? What if what we pursued were not so much routines, repeated activities that structures our lives and put us in danger of falling into ruts, but instead was striving to stay in rhythm? God wove rhythms into the very fabric and essence of creation. The sun rises, the sun sets. There are seasons in which animals and the rest of the created order instinctively know what to do. Seasons for storing, hibernating, procreating and birthing. Waves rhythmically lap the shores of beaches and lakes. All these rhythms made for us as part of God’s creation that we conveniently ignore or outright rebel against.
God knew that we’d be in open rebellion against the natural rhythms that God created. This is why God gave Israel so many rituals; to keep them in rhythm. Passover; Yom Kippur; Rosh Hashanah; Shabbat; Chanukah. We too can still engage in these rhythms in our own homes and households. Or, create new ones. Do you do a nightly Bible study over dinner? Do you take one evening to reflect upon the week past? Where we succeeded in honoring God by honoring others, and where we failed to honor others and need to confess our sin? Do you NEVER miss a communion Sunday?
Maybe, have your routines, they’re not terrible and truthfully, quite useful! In addition to them, find your rhythm. It’s in rhythm, not routines, that we grow closer to God.
In His Service,