I am a creature of routine to the extreme.
I eat the same foods at the same time everyday… Monday- Friday Breakfast (7:15 am): 6 egg whites, black coffee, lunch (1 pm) can of Campbell’s Healthy Request soup, afternoon snack (3 pm) Weight Watcher’s yogurt with grapenuts, second afternoon snack (5:30 pm) bannana, apple, or carrots, dinner (7:30 pm) turkey burger or tuna sandwich, dessert (9 pm) bowl of whole grain cereal with skim milk or whatever 100 calorie snack cakes we have in the pantry that week. On the weekends it’s a little more exciting as I generally make an elaborate dinner, or we have plans with others where food is served. But breakfast is still egg whites and coffee, lunch is a tuna sandwich, dinner is a change, and then we generally have a Barnes and Noble date so I have a green tea and bakery pastry… (see even the treats become routine).
I do the same things at the same time every day (pretty much anyway, every now and then other plans throw things off). Monday- Friday… get up at 6 am, leave for work at 7:30. Work till noon. Take my lunch break at the beach where I read, journal, pray, and reflect. Go back to work at 1, eat lunch. Get off at 5, check blogs, write blogs. Exercise. Eat dinner. Read, make crafts, talk to my hubby or veg and watch TV if I am particularly worn out. Now every Monday night I have class, every Wednesday morning I have class. Every Friday night I have church. Every Saturday morning I get together with the girls for coffee. Every Saturday and Sunday Jeremy and I go for about an hour walk on the beach. Almost every Saturday and Sunday Jeremy and I enjoy an evening Barnes and Noble date unless we have plans with others. Somewhere in the extra free time on weekends I squeeze in reading, crafting, grocery shopping, cooking, whatever cleaning really NEEDS to be done that week and time to goof off, talk, snuggle and be silly with my hubby. So there’s a little fluff, but mostly routine, routine routine.
I think that I subconciously crave routine and gravitate towards it without even realizing what I’m doing. I like to know what I’m going to do and when. I like to know what I’m going to eat without having too much fuss over menus, shopping, preparation etc (at least after a long day of work). Not to mention having a routine keeps my eating much more healthy than I feel it would be without a routine. I like to know that I have a working way of getting in the things that I’ve prioritized should really be done each week, that are imporatant to me. Having a routine ensures that happens (generally). I like the security I find in routine. The comfort. I am a planner naturally, but when I have regular routines it means less planning that I need to worry over when these things just seem to flow naturally and regularly on their own.
Within the past few days I’ve been questioning if all of this routine is encouraging me to be a better disciple of Jesus or inhibiting it. I don’t have an answer yet, but here are some of the questions that I’ve been asking myself.
Does routine stifle the Lord and His promptings out of my day? Do I get so consumed in my routine that I don’t hear His voice? Do I get so rooted in my routine that I’m not open to changes in it, or that those (unexpected) changes may even illicit an adverse reaction out of me? (I’m hearing a lot of I’s and Me’s here… my routine seems to be all about me and my comfort and I know that having a “me” centered approach is not submitting myself to the Lord)… huh… I don’t even know where to go on that one… my brain is about to explode!
What does my day completely surrendered to the Lord look like?... Okay bad question, I can’t plan out what that will look like, that defeats the purpose (I think anway). What does my day fully surrendered to the Lord feel like?
Am I finding security and comfort in routine that I should otherwise be finding in Jesus?
Does the discipline of routine help me in devoting time to prayer, the Word, and sitting in the Lord’s presence? Could this time be more full, or more frequent without routine, but if it was more of a spontaneous desire for His presence? Does routine cause this time to become a ritual (something I do moreso out of obligation, or the action of it) rather than an expression of my love and desire?
Like I said, I LOVE routine (this is not an attempt to bash it in anyway). I’m just exploring the questioning of whether it is really best for my walk with the Lord or not. Of whether it can tend to cause a staleness in my relationship with Him. It’s good to question things. It’s good to seek the Lord and see if He gives me peace on routine, or encourages me to be a little more flexible. So I set out on an endeavor to know His heart more… Guide me Lord. Mold me, I am your clay. Thank you for your freedom and your grace as I stumble through life desiring to know you more.