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Lenten Thoughts: Routine

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Do you have certain things in your routine you just have to do or you feel disjointed or incomplete? For some, they have to read the morning paper or watch the early news first thing in the morning. Some can’t get going without their first cup of coffee. Others have a bathroom routine that is scripted down to the minute. The same can be said for how they face the things of work or how they wind down in their day.

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Right before my husband and I got married we saw a movie about an ice skater who went blind. It was called “Ice Castles.” As she practiced with her partner, over and over, to drill the performance into her body, he reminded her that she could do this. As they skated out on the ice at competition, he squeezed her hand and whispered the word, “Routine.” When Nelson and I were married that is what he had engraved on the inside of my wedding band.

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Now, there are some who might see that as negative or sarcastic. I mean, really, who wants their relationship to become “routine”? People are always looking for fresh and new. Manufacturers understand that and are always seeking to make their product “new and improved.” Routine typically carries with it connotations of complacency and boredom. I don’t agree.

Having a routine helps me feel grounded and safe. I like the predictability and security of knowing what is supposed to come next. Thankfully, though, I’m not completely locked into that. Some people absolutely loose it if you change their routine. In their minds, the whole day is shot if their routine is disrupted. Somewhere along the way I developed the ability to toss my routine and be adaptable and flexible. It’s helped me survive.

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I believe that God wants to offer us this balance between predictability and adaptability. We can count on him. The Word tells us that he is the same “yesterday and forever” and he will “never leave us or forsake us.” Knowing these things about him, we learn to trust in the “no matter whats” of life. We can trust when we are hit with an unexpected curve-ball in our health, finances, career, or relationships because God becomes the source of stability that gets us through the uncertainty and back to what feels “routine.” Often in the process, we learn to create a new routine, new patterns and rituals, based on the new growth we experience as a result of trust.

There’s an old hymn that reminds us: “We have an anchor that keeps the soul, steadfast and sure while the billows roll. Fastened to the rock that cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.” As you move through your day, and your daily routine, be thankful for what you can count on, and open to the possibilities for growth and grace.

Even an openness to new can become routine!

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