Routine

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.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

5 thoughts on “Routine

  1. Jon,
    What timing. Your ebook on Routine is very helpful. I really like your working definition and it addresses my need for more discipline, thanks for putting a term to what up until now has been a longing. I look forward to the next few posts.
    Thank you.

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  2. As with many things, I learned about routine from my students. Kids crave and treasure routines, even when they complain and rebel. Routine doesn’t have to mean humdrum and boring. It doesn’t have to mean an endless stream of same-old-same-old. I learned that kids are most free to be creative when they know what to expect and what’s expected of them in day-to-day stuff.

    Same, I think, with us. I’m looking forward to your fresh take on routine.

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