As much as I love the idea of routines, I admit that I struggle to follow through with the routines that I know will help me. Here are some of the struggles from recent weeks:
- When you are out of your routine surroundings, what are the prompts that will remind you of your habits?
- If you need an hour for your morning routine and you only have fifteen minutes, what do you do?
- If you need solitude for your morning routine and you get up second, what do you do?
- If you need a chair and are away from home or you leave your notebook in your other briefcase or your favorite perfect pen is in the pocket of the jacket you left at work, what do you do?
I’m discovering that I need to cultivate portable routines. (I think of a routine as a set of thoughts and behaviors performed consistently.)
I’m thinking that it may be wise to develop routines that don’t depend on a particular chair but depend on an event like getting out of bed. I’m thinking that as much as I like having an hour for prayer and reflection and writing and reading, developing a 15 minute version may feel less disorienting for days that demand travel or meetings or other necessary and valuable experiences. I’m thinking that as much as I have treasured the practice of praying with a pen in my hand, I need to develop a comfort with a similar practice of interaction with God that can happen without a pen, without my notebook, without my chair.
Jesus had a remarkable practice of going away to spend time with God, yet he traveled regularly, had no home, and most likely did not own a Moleskine. I want to learn to routinely pray like Jesus.
So, what are your portable routines for spiritual growth?