I am a creature of habit (as I expect a lot of you are). I have certain routines that I depend on. Some I can live without if need be but some, if disrupted, can throw me for a loop…if I am not careful. Case in point ~ Thursdays.
Thursday is a day I look forward to because it is the day I head down to my favorite coffee shop to write the sermon for Sunday. I arrive downtown at around 10:25am and set up my lap top and work space. I order my pre-lunch snack ~ a scotcheroo. I also order my lunch to be prepared at 11am and, of course, I order my coffee. Each Thursday…that is what I do ~ so much so that my coffee shop has a scotcheroo set aside for me each week unless I let them know ahead of time that I am going to be gone. I am a creature of habit.
Thursday is not only scotcheroo day but more importantly it is worship and sermon prep day; a day that Monday through Wednesday builds up to. Thursday begins the three day process of preparing for Sunday. Sunday of course is the Sabbath and then the process starts all over again on Monday. Week in and week out that is the “normal” routine. Variables, of course, are funerals, pastoral care emergencies, holidays appearing during the week, etc. Those times call for a little extra energy (a.k.a. coffee) and concentration…and a lot of prayer. I don’t mind those “variables” because they are part of being a pastor. I say “I don’t mind” meaning they don’t annoy me for throwing off the routine because it is also those times that I am called to minister. I hope and pray everyday that I never approach the idol of “routine” that would steer me away from those holy moments I am called to. I hope and pray that these “variables” don’t become an annoyance…for it is in that moment where I would be failing to trust in God’s faithfulness.
Routines can be a safe haven but they are a false “safe haven”. Routines may provide order in chaos. Routines may give you a sense of security. Routines may provide something to look forward to. But routines can never provide that which God provides. Routines will be disrupted from time to time but God’s love and faithfulness will never be disrupted. Routines will lead people into ruts, but God’s love is always exciting. Routines can become idols; false gods, leading to destruction.
I cherish the routine of Thursday but not more than I cherish the God who loves me ~ so much so that Jesus died and rose that I may know forgiveness and everlasting life. Thursday scotcheroos, coffees and lunch are great but God’s promises are better.
God…I pray that I may not be drawn into the idol worship of routine. You have proved your faithfulness through Jesus Christ and for that I worship and praise you. May your name be praised! Amen!