Routines are helpful and necessary, but the continuous rhythm of thoughtless activity can be numbing. I recently took three consecutive Sundays away from preaching and during that time took one week to invest in my wife and another to invest in my family. This is very healthy for my home because we function on a different rhythm than other homes. Holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, etc) and weekends look different for us. Every week that contains a Sunday becomes a fairly normal work week for us. Often times holidays are even more intense. Therefore, we have to be extremely intentional about creating some margin. To be honest, we are still learning how to do this well.
A truth that I have found across all stages and circumstances of life is that we must regularly step out of our routine to gain a Godly perspective. Our rhythms of life create a brainwashing that lulls us into thinking we must continue the routine. We say without really saying, “I need to wake up today and do exactly the same things that I do every week at this time.” We do not take time to evaluate and change our rhythm based on Godly wisdom.
Here are some really simple pieces of wisdom God brought to me through taking a step back:
- I can completely pursue my God-given priorities because He is big enough to catch the spinning plates that may fall in other areas.
- The most faithful Christ follower I can be is the one that He uniquely created me to be with all of my specific strengths and weaknesses.
- The greatest joy I will experience will come through functioning in the gifts He has given me while celebrating those around me who have great gifts in areas where I do not.
- The home and church I shepherd will be sustained solely by the grace of God through my faithfulness rather than through my ability to do all the right things at all the right times.
Those are just a few of the many thoughts I was praying through as I had a chance to take a step back. What would it look like for you to take a step back out of the brainwashing rhythm of life to hear from your Creator?
- Take a personal day away from work for yourself (and God). Take a day and get away to be alone. Drive to Stephen F. Austin State Park and walk the trails all day asking God to move in your heart while you are reading His Word and reflecting on your rhythm of life. If your spouse works in the home, take a personal day so that you can spend a day with kids allowing your spouse to get away.
- Leverage some vacation time. Maybe you know that you have a three-day weekend coming or that you are taking a few days off work. Instead of filling all of that time with more busyness, take a portion of that time for prayer and reflection. Give your full attention to God with completely open ears to hear what He might want you to change about your rhythm of life.
Questions: Have you ever engaged in anything like this before? Can you share what it felt like and what came out of that time? If you have not, what are your biggest obstacles to doing so?