Will your routines in life sustain you when chaos hit?

By:  Lianne Johnson, LPC

Happy day to you!  Today is Halloween, which is perhaps my least favorite holiday.  Not sure I should even call it a holiday.  I think its my least favorite because I have to walk around the neighborhood with my 3 and 6 year old in the COLD weather.  If you know me, you know that I get cold easily.  You also know that I loathe being cold.  But alas, I shall walk around this evening with my boys, in the cold, and watch them enjoy being kids.  For now, I have planted myself in my favorite chair at home which sits in front of my big window.  I am enjoying the sun, the trees, the quiet, and the warmth as my little guy naps.  

I have been prompted to think about the word “routine” by my pastor’s sermon this past Sunday (listen here), which I found amazing and helpful.  While we can have many routines addressing different areas of our lives, whether it be exercise, eating, sleeping, or work, my pastor focused on the importance of our routine with God.  Specifically, the importance of having a routine with God so that when the pains and chaos of life enter our day-to-day living we have the fruit of our routine to fall back on.  

I have to say, from personal experience, my pastor is right.  Just about 2 years ago my life changed.  Confusion and chaos entered and my life changed.  Today, my life looks different on many levels and I am still healing from the changes of 2 years ago.  But my point is this:  2 years ago I had routine with the Lord.  I spent time with him daily, both reading and praying.  I was, at one point, working in the church and then began what is known today as Avenues Counseling.  My relationship with God was thriving.  I was learning about His love for me, His steadfastness, His faithfulness to me and my life, His commitment to me, His mercy, His grace, His forgiveness, His Goodness (the list could seriously go on and on).  As I spent time with Him daily He shaped me to know Him better.  I am forever thankful to Him for His ways with me.  Now let’s focus on my routine with God the past two years since confusion and chaos entered my life.  I cry out to him in prayer, asking Him to make sense of life.  I remember verses from the Bible and Bible stories throughout the 2 years.  I go to church, but not as often as I used to.  I haven’t been in a formal Bible study.  I can’t even remember the last time I opened my Bible and read it, and as a matter of fact, at this moment I have no idea where it is.  

I am not proud to share these things with you.  In fact I’m a little nervous about it.  But really, all I’m doing is being honest.  The honest truth is that as I have lived in these 2 years of confusion and chaos my routine with God (and many other areas of my life) has changed.  I have been unable to maintain my same routines as my life has changed.  

Yet I love God.  He still loves me and I miss Him terribly.  I miss our daily times together – He is my father and friend.  I am okay that my routine has changed, but I know it won’t stay this way forever.  I also know that I have been able to maintain over these 2 years because of the routine I had with God.  I am currently living on the fruit of my prior routine with God.  

What are your routines in life, whether it be with God, exercising, food, managing life stress and anxiety? Will the routines you currently have in place sustain you during the times in your life when confusion and chaos reigns?