This is a picture my friend took last week when I was showing her how to do a Turkish get-up in the local coffee shop. The purposes of this exercise is to improve ability, strengthen the shoulder & probably make a person look super silly. I say this because whenever I do them, I feel not just a little goofy.
Sometimes, our spiritual development can feel to our flesh like a Turkish get-up. Growing spiritually doesn’t always make our flesh feel comfortable & svelte. But growing spiritually helps us to go through life’s ups & downs with more agility & this also helps to strengthen our core self, grounding us in prayer & the Bible.
Don’t minimize the importance of doing the daily disciplines of prayer & Bible time that foster spiritual growth!
Do you have mindless habits? All of us have things that we do without giving much thought to them, such as brushing our teeth, driving home, morning routines, etc. It can be really helpful to have these kind of routines, but sometimes they’re counterproductive.
For example, in Luke 10, Martha & Mary had Jesus come to their house for dinner. Based on Martha’s behavior in other stories in the Gospels, it seems like she fell into the routine of cooking, serving & being busy with getting stuff done. All of these things aren’t inherently wicked, but if we allow our routines to sabotage our fellowship with Jesus, then they become more of a hindrance than a help.
Let’s always remember that Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 to seek His kingdom first & we’ll have what we need! Let’s be sure our routines reinforce our intimacy with Jesus rather than distract us in mindless disconnect 🙂
There are lots of things that need regular maintenance: changing oil in the car, laundry, tooth brushing, cleaning the kitchen etc. I also think there’s good value in thinking of our spiritual life with a mindset of regular maintenance. What I love about keeping our spiritual life well oiled is that the dividends always exceed the investment. Whatever time, energy & presence I give to God is always returned to me with supernatural generosity.
God’s presence is always more satisfying than the presence I give to God – praying is super essential!
Spending time in the Bible is beneficial in our hearts & souls, helping our thoughts , emotions & decisions
Experiencing God in community pays huge rewards, helping us to sense God in fresh & challenging ways
Let’s GO!!!! Let’s go do something amazing! Let’s join God’s redemptive plan for humanity! Let’s join a divine revolution & JUMP!
Sometimes we can get stuck in our routines, responsibilities & even ruts. But sometimes, God wants to upset the apple cart & is merely waiting for us to give a small nod, “yes” & that’s when the adventure starts! To be sure, following Jesus has its fair share of thrills, disappointments & shockers. But in my experience, nothing satisfies the core of who I am more than walking with Jesus, whenever He leads, be that in brothels, slums, palaces, prisons, churches, crosswalks & carpools. So when Jesus beckons, may our default answer always me, “Let’s GO!!”
Seems like all of us want to grow & improve in at least a few ways. We want to be more skinny or more muscular. We want to be smarter, more athletic, less impatient, . . . . . . All of us have things in our lives that we want to improve. If there was a magic wand that we could wave to make the wanted improvement appear, we’d go to great lengths to get that wand & ultimately the improvement that we want. But alas, there is no magic wand.
But here’s the golden ticket for the improvements that we want: routine. Yep, the nitty, gritty and daily incremental efforts that we can integrate into our daily routines can produce life changing transformation. Diets, fads, trends, cool & swanky techniques and mental gyrations often lack the power to improve that comes from just the daily, small decisions that we incorporate into routine living:
A deeper walk with God: plan to go to bed 30min earlier everyday for two weeks, so you can get up 15min early to read your Bible & pray – spend some time training your body & soul to make spiritual investments
being more healthy: chose to decrease or eliminate a cup of coffee (gasp), the afternoon treat, the evening snack for two weeks;
physical fitness: chose to walk more (rather than the drive for that close errand, park in less conveninet places that require more walking, take a walk in the evening rather than watch the 30min of TV that turns into 2hours, . . . .)
be smarter: reading is a great path to help us with the smart stuff; consider joining a book club, get a library card – check out a book; read something that you don’t agree with or isn’t in the normal interest list (broaden your horizon)
Small but steady changes often create the sustained improvements that can seem elusive. You can do it!! 🙂
Since it’s Mother’s Day, it seems fitting to celebrate our moms & their various contributions to our lives. My mom invests in my life in a multitude of different ways, but something that I always appreciate about her is the power of routine. Despite lots of travels & massive demands on her schedule, my mom is very consistent with her routines. She consistently exercises, makes healthy eating decisions, memorizes the Bible everyday and maintains healthy sleeping patterns. My mom is the Queen of Routine. And here’s what is so powerful about the whole routine thing, she’s done this for almost all of my life. So when people ask me about my mom & the secret to her success, of course God is the number one source for all success, but I’d quickly add that her consistent routines throughout the years have positioned her for the successful living she enjoys today.
So here’s my closing thought: let’s make the routines of our daily living conform to our priorities 🙂
Routines can be boring. They’re by nature repetitive & can get VERY dull. When i was growing up, we used to have a trampoline & i would practice my trampoline routines (like a gymnastics routine) to where i had like 3-4 routines i could do whenever we had guests. I was kind of proud of these routines bc some of them were kind of tough. What i discovered was that when i would practice the routines, i stayed sharp & wouldn’t make mistakes. When i wouldn’t do them for a day or two, or even a week, my routines would get sloppy & sometimes i even hurt myself.
I find that the lessons i learned from practicing trampoline routines stay w me even now when i’m an adult. My daily performance is intricately connected to my daily routines. Furthermore, my daily routines are an integral part of the success or failure of my future. What i practice today, is what i’ll be ready for tomorrow.
i’m trying to get better w my routines – especially w my kids. My personal routines include going to bed at a reasonable hour so i can get up early, have some solitude & God time so that i can go into each day w some Divine. Utlimately, i find that every day needs the Divine & routine can help increase my awareness of God’s involvement in my daily living. How are your routines?
Does it feel like we’re settling into Fall? Fall has fresh routines for me & I like it – as long as I cultivate constructive routines. I probably should drop the swiss cheese & triscuit habit, even though it feels like I’ve gotten back into a bit of a better workout routine. I also probably ought to stay away from the new donut shop I found on Arapahoe Road, even though they have the best plain glazed.
As for constructive routines, I need to keep the morning habit w God in full swing. I’m also working on integrating the Lord’s Prayer into my thinking during the day’s activities – not the rote method, but at a deeper level in honoring His name, welcoming His Kingship, binding my will to His & then doing the sarah requests for daily needs, forgiveness, temptation avoidance & protection. Another routine I’m working on is studying in the daytime – Greek, Bible work, message prep, etc. Also, I’m working on making meals on the weekends that can carry us through the week – that’s a great routine & saves money! Something I haven’t worked out well is an evening routine – need help there.
What are routines that you have found to be helpful? Suggestions are always welcome!!