Ritual Idolatry

 I must have said it a thousand times in the last month, and countless times in the months before that, "I just need life to get back to normal so I can get into a routine."  I do like a good routine where all the behaviors come automatically, and I don't have to engage my brain too hard.  Auto-pilot and low stress and time to relax are all things that my mind and body seem to crave.

Except that if we aren't careful the ritual of routine can become an idol, the norm is what we crave and how we function most effortlessly
Except that things that are effortless invite disengagement
Except that stress is what trains our muscles and responses, where routine only makes us lazy, restful and complacent
Except that races are neither run nor won when we are moseying along on autopilot
Except that a priority ceases to be a priority if you don't have to fight to make time for it
Except that one thing we can depend on is that when we aren't on our toes is when God will shake us up
Except that when we are lazy and complacent, Satan doesn't even need to pay us any mind

If I depend on my routine to bring me peace, order and contentment then I have placed my trust in the wrong thing. A body in motion tends to stay in motion, and motion brings changes, adjustments, and occasionally outright upheavals. In fact, I can be sure that the best personal attributes and the sharpest edges will be developed only when I work without the safety net of routine.

There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!  Romans 5:3-5

Maybe it's time for me to stop waiting for life to run the way I would shape it to run, and surrender my expectations for each and every day to the one who orchestrates every moment of eternity.


homebirthhoney said...

That is an eye opening perspective on routine. Struggling myself to get some kind of normal back since we moved, I can relate....and now, rethink. We were moved for a reason.

Lorri said...

With each of these posts, feeling more and more like a Chinese woman of old with her toes broken and wrapped under. This is good, though, and a much needed perspective. Thank you!

Madame Rubies said...

I think this is why homeschool has energized me instead of knocking me totally off balance. I needed the change in routine. I had become too disengaged.