As we settle into another school year, we find ourselves falling back into old routines. Whether you are a student dealing with a bell schedule, extracurricular activities, and homework, or a parent of young children making sure that teeth get brushed and kids get to bed on time, we are creatures of habit and routine. We have a tendency to dread the end of summer because summer brings about a modicum of ‘freedom’. We generally fall into a different schedule of life when school is not in session, so when school starts in the fall, we face a paradox of both intrusion and gratefulness to get back into a schedule and routines on which we can count.
Like most things in life, routine can be either good or bad, depending on how we use it. If our routine involves things that would keep us from enjoying time with God, we find ourselves drifting into a life of apathy and a lack of dependence on Jesus, which inevitably catches up with us at some point. However, if our routines involve availing ourselves to God’s gifts of grace, we are far better equipped for whatever life throws at us. Regular times of prayer and reading and studying God’s Word are extremely important to a Christian’s walk with God. Think of those people who you see as positive examples of how a Christian should walk. I would propose that the person you are thinking of has a vibrant prayer life and spends quality time in God’s Word as part of his/her daily routine.
Allow me to encourage you with these thoughts. If your routines involve prayer and God’s Word, keep up the great work! You are not only reaping the benefits in your relationship with God, but you are setting an example for others to follow. If your routines lack time with God, start new routines now. Stephen Covey, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, summed it up this way: “Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.” As Christians, we want our characters to be above reproach to honor and glorify God. Let’s encourage one another to love and good works and to develop routines that will bless, not only us, but everyone with whom we come in contact.