Routine and Spirituality

BY Doug Jones

January 10, 2013

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Life around my home and farm requires routine. Routine is foundational to ensuring that everyone gets fed, all are safe, no one escapes, and the humans stay sane. Prior to moving to our current location, I enjoyed spontaneity and a lack of routine. We lived according to a fairly flexible schedule, and although we didn’t avoid routine, it wasn’t part and parcel of everyday living.

That has all changed. Routine is necessary in our current situation. It didn’t get adopted easily, but after eight years of its regular and predictable rhythm, I have become fond of routine. Beyond its efficiency and a pattern providing that nothing or no one is forgotten, there have been some unintended benefits I didn’t anticipate:

  1. Routines and rhythms have a way of spreading into other areas of our lives.
  2. Practicing routines in certain areas of our lives make following new rhythms a bit more natural.
  3. Following a routine can help us be more present to the moment we are in (we quickly notice the new, the unusual, the out of the ordinary).
  4. Routine can provide stability in our lives even if we are not geographically stable, which many have written about as necessary for our spiritual development (in developing awareness, faithfulness, and perseverance).

These four benefits have definite implications to our Christian formation. I encourage you to think through some of the benefits mentioned here (and others not mentioned), and how they may impact our spiritual development and those whom we serve. Take time to discuss this with a friend or group of youth workers or ask some questions, push back, or add to this post in the comments below.


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