Transforming Routines

Hi everyone. Rob here.

Sometimes you just have to break the routines of your life. I headed down to Wellington in the weekend to catch up with David. We hiked and biked and yakked and puffed our way through activities that tested the body and refreshed the soul. To do this I had to leave behind Jake’s cricket team that I coach, the church Big Day Out which is always a highlight and the usual weekend fun with my family. But it had to be done. We needed to chat about this ministry. My body needed to experience physical exertion. My soul needed the beauty that Wellington provides. The day needed to be seized and we seized it. I say all this because we often have to intentionally break the routines of life so that they don’t turn into ruts that cause us to stumble.

sunset-1208263_960_720However, the reality is that we can’t often spare a weekend or more to bring change to our everyday existence. But we can do certain everyday things that move our minds from the mundane to the truth that life is pure gift from a good God. So here are some things that help me. You may have your own list that I encourage you to share with us. Or it may challenge you to approach your day differently. Anyway, here goes:

  • Linger prayerfully over the verse of the day before getting up. I like this because the verse is always different. It’s like a fresh gift everyday that needs to be unwrapped.
  • Make good coffee. This does two things. It slows you down and stimulates your senses. Both are essential to helping us remain in Christ through the day. This can also be done by savouring your shower and eating your breakfast slowly.
  • Hug your family. Showing love wakes you up to love.
  • Walk or bike to work if at all possible. This gets you moving and wakes you up.
  • If you’re driving make an effort to be courteous. It puts you in the mode of serving others and makes for a more pleasant driving experience.
  • Pray before a meeting. Bring the work of Christ between you so that only the love of Christ passes between you. Let go of all presumptions and judgments. Open your mind to the mind of Christ asking for wisdom and grace. Guard your heart. Protect yourself from all manipulation. Bless the other person.
  • Get out of the office at lunchtime. Get to nature if you can. Clear your mind so you can renew your mind. Go back to the verse of the day or another stimulating verse or thought.
  • Don’t rush home. Use the trip home to let go of work issues and embrace the gift of home. Do what it takes to enable you to be present as you walk through the door.
  • Get yourself a good book. Find some time in the evening to read. Scripture is good but a good story helps too. I’m re-reading Lord of the Rings at the moment and it stirs my heart to want more of God.
  • Compliment your family as often and as sincerely as you can. Remember, showing love helps us wake up to love.
  • Watch the sunset. As David says, “every sunset is different.” Enjoy the gift and let wonder and awe rise.

Do I do all of this everyday? No. I’m forgetful. I sometimes take my family for granted. I sometimes withdraw and don’t engage. I sometimes rush unnecessarily. But I’m doing that less and acting on this list more. These practices help me but they’re not rules. They’re invitations into God’s heart. They help me serve others with love, renew my mind, guard my heart, pray continually and worship sincerely. I pray that your list helps you do the same.

Grace and peace.

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