(Here’s a refresh on routine while I take a month’s break. Thanks!)
Maintaining routine, former procrastinators, can be a challenge – with big payoffs. Owning a car is a challenge with payoffs. It requires adding fuel, going in for regular maintenance, and tending to repairs. It takes time, effort, money. Still, most of us prefer to maintain our cars and enjoy the benefits that come from having ready transportation.
When we bought our cars, we considered our needs, budgets, preferences. We figured out what we could afford that would serve us best. We set up routine with careful thought. Getting established takes time and effort, but it results in procedures that serve us well and simplify life.
If we don’t fuel our cars, we don’t go anywhere. Sticking with it is like fueling our routine. We have the joy of “getting somewhere.” We accomplish our aims. The ride is more pleasant because it’s steady, not in jerky fits and starts and stall outs as when we had no routine.
Sometimes a car sits unused and is hard to crank. Left unused, routines are hard to get going again. It’s easier to keep a routine running than it is to restart it. If it’s been necessary to set it aside for a while, get out the jumper cables and recharge your routine.
Checkups for the car reveal problems that need attention. If windshield wipers need replacing, we do that. We don’t get rid of the car. We should keep an eye out for things in our routine that don’t serve well and tweak them.
Cars sometimes need major repairs or replacement. We consider the factors and get help to correct the situation. Routines need correcting. We persevere through to an improvement that works better for us. If necessary, we trade in our non-working car for a better model. But we don’t scrap the car without giving it opportunity to prove itself. With routine, it takes a while -maybe weeks -to work out the kinks or get everybody onboard. That’s better than no car, no routine, no profitable changes in lifestyle. Give routine time to prove itself useful.
Routine requires commitment and correction. It also requires caution.
Like a car, our regular procedure is a tool we are privileged to use. We value routine but don’t allow it to become an idol to protect at all costs.
There are places we don’t drive our cars. We need discernment; flexibility is good. We don’t want to flex ourselves completely out of routine by letting it go repeatedly. But we let it go on occasion because God is prompting us to listen to someone, keep extra children, or stay late to cover for a colleague. We want others to respect our preferences, but we don’t require people to always bow to our routine because they are not as important as our tool.
God is the source of peace and conqueror of chaos. He helps us use routine as a wonderful gift, a helpful tool.
Did you practice run a routine? What corrections are you making?