A few weekends ago I was away for the night for board meetings. And while I was going to sleep I realized I missed something. I missed saying goodnight to Hudson. Here is our little routine. I pick up the little tired boy. We say goodnight and put him in his bed. Then before I go to bed I check on him. I cover him in the covers he’s kicked off. I pray over him. And I tell him I love him. Then I say goodnight, close the door, and go off to my bed.
I missed this routine.
This got me to thinking about the difference between routine, rhythm or a rut. Routine’s are things you do consistently. And when routine’s are beautiful, healthy, and good they become rhythm’s of life. Like going into your child’s room and saying goodnight. But routines can also shift and become a rut; where you eat the same thing each Monday.
Some routines in our lives give energy and life to us and become rhythms. Some routines in our lives sap energy and becomes ruts. Some routines we need to celebrate, cherish, and protect. Other routines we need to break, stop, and move away from. Putting Hudson to bed is a routine I will protect and cherish. Connecting with God in the mornings is a routine I don’t want to take for granted. But my emotional routine of fear or worry after certain experiences needs to change.
The question is are the everyday routines of your life healthy rhythms or unhealthy ruts?
Think about these questions: How often do you check your work email? Do you exercise? Do you have regular emotional responses that don’t lead to health and life? Do you have a consistent time with Jesus? Is stress and worry too often a part of your life? Does meeting with this friend each uplift you? Does taking time for silence and simplicity help?
The point isn’t to get rid of routines. The point is to turn each healthy routine into a daily rhythm, and to stop unhealthy routines from becoming a lifelong rut.
So what routines do you need to break? Which ones do you need to protect?