Friday, July 31, 2020

Rhythms and Routines of Christian Life

No copyright infringement intended
No copyright infringement intended


I found this article of Dr. Danielle Forshee[1] describing the “Psychological Benefits of Routines” as an affirmation of its value from a medical perspective.  

·      Routine in adults is very similar to routine in children. It is crucial to set routines to enable yourself to get better at the things you do.

·      Routine helps us cope with change, it helps to create healthy habits, and more importantly, it helps to reduce stress levels.

·      Routine helps alleviate stress. Creating routines will allow you to set times for specific tasks, and allow you to set times for fun, or things that you enjoy or make you happy. 


Alannah Francis[2] added:


Routine is essential if we're to develop a strong and substantial faith and relationship with Christ. When we think about how we're defined by what we do every day in so many other areas of our lives, it makes sense that this carries over into our spiritual life.


From a biblical perspective, “How did God provide the means to keep our rhythms and routines working flawlessly each day?” Looking back at Genesis (1:14, NLT), God provided, “the seasons, days, and years.” With this in mind, God marked the rhythm and routine between day and night with the 24-hour cycle on a weekly basis before Adam was created. Ever since that day, everything operated this way. God, in his Omniscience, thought about the pattern for us to live by on a weekly basis as far as daily rhythm and routine is concerned


Another significant provision is the Sabbath Day or the 7th Day. This is the day where God rested and declared it a holy day:


So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. 2On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. 3And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation (Genesis 2”1-3, NLT)


Moses, in giving the law, reiterated the Sabbath day principle:  


“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy. Exodus 20:8-11, NKJ)


What does the Sabbath law mean for us today? Simply put, the Sabbath Day is God’s reset button as part of the rhythm and routines He set up for us to follow. Following the Sabbath Day is not being dogmatic or even about rule-keeping. It’s more than these two things, as many subscribed to. If it’s only these, then we’ve missed the whole point of God altogether. I believe it to be a very simple system intended for our benefit personally and spiritually, from God’s standpoint. God gave us rhythms and routines to follow but also a day of rest from it as a reset. Here are some valuable perspectives on this matter:


·      God knew the rhythm of life needs a reset button. In providing one day where we rest, God declared the 7th day as a day of worship, reflection and reset.

·      Observing the Sabbath Day removes our attention to ourselves after six days and instead focused on God, our Creator, who gave us everything for one day. 

·      Having one day reserved as a day of worship impacts our children and their future. What we sow is what we reap.


How did the early church follow God’s prescription on a daily basis? Michaelle Justice shared this wonderful insight:


In the early church, how they acted in their daily lives and interactions with others defined their Christian life. The ministry of daily life is about living in the Word, walking the path with Jesus whether we’re behind a desk, or pushing our grocery cart down the frozen food aisle. It can be how we act, without words, how we treat others – even those we might only meet in passing as we go through our daily routines. 


That’s why, Steve May shared, “The Christian life isn’t about flashes of occasional spiritual brilliance. It’s about day-to-day consistency.” God is concerned with our personal and spiritual health, thus, the provision of a reset for us is given. Try it and you’ll never be the same.


Let’s talk again!