It’s the end of the year. Time to talk about goals and plans and promises and change. During our four years together, I’ve talked about three words and one word and 100 goals and preparing instead of planning. I’ve read about habit and mindsets and deliberate practice. I’m more aware than I’ve ever been that following Jesus is a process.
A word I’m weighing these days is routine. I even called my new ebook Learning a new routine. My working definition is a set of thoughts and behaviors performed consistently. For example, a gymnast learns a routine. By practice, her muscles and mind memorize the actions so that move seamlessly follows move.
It feels robotic, I suppose, until we consider that there are some things we want to do routinely. We want to care about people routinely We want to routinely stay calm, respond graciously, work hard, not worry.
If we’re going to change our lives to be like Jesus, our routines need to be examined and adjusted. We need to consider whether the collection of thoughts and behaviors we perform every day are the ones that Jesus modeled, talked about, taught, commanded.
It’s a process that David was familiar with. He ends Psalm 19 asking God to help in this process of examination.
Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
In the ebook, I explain the content of the routines Jesus taught in the sermon on the mount. For the next few days I want to look here at the idea of routine.