A predictable routine is essential infrastructure in our family. An awareness of our weekly activities and responsibilities helps us plan, uphold obligations and maintain order in an environment that looms chaotic. Knowing that Wednesday is my night of folding a Mount Rainier-sized mound of clean laundry, I have peace Tuesday when baskets of so many jeans, leggings, shirts and socks threaten me. I see you. And I’ll deal with you tomorrow.
But what if our routine becomes god? When all submits to the patterns of personality and behavior and preference—and nothing and no thing can interfere with the schedule?
“The earth is the LORD’S and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it.” Psalm 24:1
This includes time and how we choose to use it.
My time and all the schedules and preferences it holds ought to submit to creation’s author. Because really, it’s not a predictable routine that bears the weight of my family’s needs and desires, but Jesus Christ who upholds all things—even enormous piles of untended laundry—by the word of His power. (Hebrews 1:3)
If we stand any chance of accomplishing good works for the Kingdom, our minutes must submit to the One who has numbered our days--our nanoseconds, before we’ve even breathed our first. (Psalm 139:16)
And we must accomplish good works. Grace makes good works possible. Love makes good works inevitable.
Will you change your preferences for Love?
Yes…but there’s Church on Sunday, weekday gymnastics, school drop off and pickups (at four different schools). There’s youth group, and her birthday party this weekend. Yes…but the cello needs tuning and groceries don’t buy themselves and when’s the last time anyone vacuumed? And there’s a form somewhere—always forms that need signing and there’s a job also because none of this running about pays the bills. Yes…but it’s my time. And these are my preferences. And life only works this way.
I want to love with all my heart--no conditions or requirements--I just...can't.
Ahh, now we're getting somewhere. Beloved, if you know me, you know love, because I am love. I sent my son to you--live through him, for he's taken away your sin. I have loved you first--so you can love my world best. Rest in me--loving through you--and you will love well. 1 John 8-10
Nighttime finds me frail. My body pleads for rest. But it’s also when all the house lies quiet. Wrapped in darkness, a stone’s throw from midnight—desperate for a spoonful of uninterrupted time I move through the house seeking solitude. Time to think. Time to write.
No sooner do my fingers find the keyboard than a baby’s cry hits my ear like an air raid siren. I want to take cover—but I’m awake. I am the first responder.
Really? I get up before dawn to work on projects that mock me throughout the day—only for them to tease me still.
She is cold and wet and unsettled. Gently and quietly, I change her, snuggle her close, wrap her in the grace and love that binds me. Now she is warm, dry, secure. I hold her close. Just her and I—adrift in a moment that is sacred-beautiful.
A mama and a baby. Weeks ago—strangers. Neither of us seeking the other and yet finding one another still.
Awash in moonlight I offer thanks to the Lord. Even I can see that tonight, these hands of mine weren’t meant to write life-giving words but to hold life.
To behold life—this little bundle baby in my arms. Time is a gift to be received—not killed or wasted, but spent on what we love. And who doesn’t have time for love moments like this? I’m reminded of the Psalmist’s praise--I remember your name in the night, O Lord and another: At midnight I rise to praise you because of your righteous rules. Psalm 119: 55, 62
My routine—both in slumber and motion are life’s outlines, but if they don’t fill when the breath of the Sprit blows—I live imprisoned.
I am a free woman. I have no use for chains.
And so my deliverer comes to break the bonds I’ve forged. But the breaking hurts. Feels like loss. Yet since routine is not god—God is God, He gives what I’m really seeking and exposes the lie I’m believing.
Self-remembrance is how I try to preserve joy: my pursuits, plans, patterns. But the path to joy is more closely tied to self-forgetfulness. Losing myself is that which is fuller, always and more. I agree with Ann Voskamp, my endless desires can only be met in an endless God. And C.S. Lewis, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
Another World. The upside-down Kingdom that is truly right-side up, where the last are first, the empty are full, the broken are made whole.
I do not always spend my time-gift wisely, but I trust in the love of the One who holds my days like petals in His eternal palm. He deserves immediate and steadfast obedience not the dawdling, reluctance I frequently offer yet even still Christ transforms my spray of weeds into a bouquet of flowers, fragrant. If divine love cannot change my life and reorder my preferences—what can? What will?
I have my answer. But now it’s a prayer.
Yes! Please. Let divine love interrupt me, change my life, re-order my steps. Replace my less and sometimes with more and always. Help me seek eternal beauty instead temporal trappings. Keep my path straight—no matter the cost. I will trust you with my days—
And my sleepless nights.
"Lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles and run with endurance the race set before you. "