Wednesday Word: Routines

The word “routine” has several definitions, one of which is, “a customary or regular course of procedure.” When people ask me how things are going, I often say, “Oh, the usual . . . get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed.” That's a sarcastic way of relaying my daily routine.

And although the daily routine is pretty much the same (see above), there are variations within that routine. A hospital visit, for instance. Or a person who drops into the office needing to talk. Or who knows what else that give the day some creative spice.

One of my routines is to find something on Monday that forms the basis for the Wednesday Word which then gets written Tuesday and entered into the queue to be sent out Wednesday morning. But sometimes something happens which throws that routine off, such as a holiday on Monday. When holidays fall on a Monday, I have to be extra-intentional about making sure the Wednesday Word gets written because all of Tuesday feels like Monday. And then, like today, I wake up Wednesday morning and realize I didn't get it written.

Sometimes we need something to throw our routine off to help remind us either a) how important that routine is, or b) that maybe our routine needs to change.

Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent is next week. Lent is a time for self-examination, repentance, prayer, fasting, self-denial, and reading and meditating on God's holy Word. In other words, Lent asks us to examine our routines and confirm their importance or work to change them. Lent intentionally disrupts our routines so we can examine how they benefit us, our relationships (both with God and others), and see which routines have wormed their way into our lives slowly pulling us away from God and others.

What are your routines? Which of them would you like to change or eliminate? Which of them would you like to strengthen or reinforce?

As we prepare to enter Lent, take some time and list your routines; and then maybe make this Lent a season of routine review, working to strengthen those that are beneficial and remove those that are not.

Because it just may be that the practice of Christianity is the practice of good and holy routines.



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