We are creatures of habit. We like things to be comfortable, predictable, even routine.
But sometimes it is necessary to break out of our routine, and when we do, we discover new things about God and about ourselves.
I have a set routine in the mornings that includes prayer, writing and study of scriptures. It’s as necessary to me as breathing is. When I neglect it, which I sometimes do, it messes me up. I can definitely tell a huge difference in my day when I don’t start it out with my prayer and study routine.
Now, I don’t share that in order to seem like some super, organized believer. I just know that I am so incredibly dependent upon my God, that if I don’t first approach Him before the day begins, I’m a wreck before noon. Doubts, depression, frustration–all come crashing in on me when I put God on the back burner. That’s also not to say that I don’t sometimes still have doubts and depression and frustration even when I follow through with my routine. But I am more likely to survive the day intact when I first seek God’s face.
Lately, I’ve had to change my routine. My Bible software–Logos–that I use is not working and the company (which is great a customer service) is not sure what is wrong. I’m to call them again later today. But in the mean time, I’ve had to make a few “tweaks” in my routine. And it’s been a very good thing. Kind of like rearranging the furniture and cleaning out from underneath it.
One exception though—-I’ve had to go back to using my paper copy of Tryst, the system I use for prayer in the mornings. This paper copy is tattered and torn, smudged, written on and tear stained. Sure, I could use my copier and make a new copy, but the history that is in that copy is too precious to me. It’s the one thing–the one piece of furniture–that I’ve not moved in this season of adjusting my routine.
Because my notes are all located in Logos, I’ve had to write new notes–new observations, new thoughts and questions–and attach them to the online Bible at esvbible.org. This has been truly refreshing—almost like seeing things through a new pair of glasses. No, it’s not a huge change from what I was doing before, but “starting fresh” has me seeing things in verses that I had either forgotten or haven’t seen before, in their application to my life. Part of that is, of course, I’m a different person than when I started this process–life has shaped me and molded me and changed me. God has shaped me and molded me and changed me.
I’ve also used my ESV paper Study Bible more. There is something about holding the Bible in your hands, in a printed form, and thumbing through to find your verses as opposed to using a search engine. It, too, has been refreshing.
I felt compelled to share this with you today, to encourage you to look at the ways in which you approach God. Maybe you don’t have a routine–a set time where you spend time with God. You don’t need anything fancy. A Bible. A piece of paper. A pen. A heart willing to pray. Maybe you can start out with spending 10 minutes of time with Him in the morning before things get busy.
Or if you do have a routine with God, maybe it’s time to reevaluate it. Refresh it. Not saying that what you are doing isn’t working, at all. I’m just suggesting that you might find something to tweak or add or subtract that will give you renewed commitment to spending time with your God.
If you are at all interested in seeing what I use, I would love to share it with you. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll gladly walk through with you some of the things that work for me; understanding, of course, that everyone is different and how you ultimately spend your time with God is between you and God.