Routine

by Amanda Casanova

When I was in college I left my apartment on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:17 a.m. to make the bus to campus. After a short bus ride, it took me three minutes to walk to my Spanish class from the campus bus stop. I then had six minutes before class to relax. I had a routine.

Years later, as a wife and writer now, my thoughts are a tangle of things: dinner plans, story ideas, to-do lists. I developed a remedy for that confusion. I developed another routine.

Because routines are one of my favorite things. They keep life orderly and neat and planned, but the awful truth about them is they don’t need Jesus.

Just before Joshua sets out to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land and just as he picks up from where Moses left off, God tells him to “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Now I’m sure the Israelites had a system down. They knew how to set up camp quickly and how to travel light. They knew how to get a stubborn camel moving and which packs carried the most. They were experts, and when we become experts at scheduling and routine, it’s easy to not need Christ.

Until we crash. Until something doesn’t fit in the routine. Until something wrecks our remedy, and we are calling for help.

But what if we didn’t wait until the crash? What if we took routine and gave it to the Lord? Routines may not need Jesus, but you and I, we do.

Dwight Edwards writes in “Revolution Within: A Fresh Look at Supernatural Living”:

“Apart from me you can do nothing” – Those words have not a trace of exaggeration in them. Yet our flesh tries to keep the prideful hope alive of accomplishing something worthy on our own. Usually we try it in areas that we consider our strengths: our intellect, our personal discipline, our godly upbringing (if we were so blessed), our personality traits, or our Christian training or education.”

Routines are great at getting us to survive the day, at getting us through the day, but God wants so much more from each day. I don’t want to just make it through each day, and my schedule, my idea, my remedy, is just barely getting me there.

God called Joshua and Moses to faithfully pursue him and trust him every day. God doesn’t need to see our planning skills. He wants to see us follow him. He wants to see us love him more than a schedule, with that and I’m reminded of Paul’s words to the Galatians: “Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?”