Rethinking Routine

August 8, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Cindy Martin –

Just like the end of the school year brings relief from our often overcrowded schedules, back to school can be a welcome friend, ushering us back into regular routines.

I relished the thought of summer break as all the year-end wind-ups had gotten me a little wound up! I had visions of all the rest I would enjoy as well as all the things I would get accomplished. In my head it made so much sense… but as the summer has played out, I’ve discovered that routine is both my friend and my foe.

Structure is great but so is flexibility. Good habits are foundational but emotional freedom is equally essential. As with most things, any strength carried to an extreme becomes a weakness. It can be an intense struggle to not let the form get in the way of the function. This has been especially true in my quiet time with God. Routine provides the time, structure and habit that serve me well in the spiritual disciplines I believe God has called me to. Yet, as it’s been interrupted, I’ve seen routine become my foe. I’ve experienced what it’s like to value my routine over my relationship with God. At times, it’s caused me to become disgruntled, cranky and sometimes just plain spiritually rebellious. Not exactly the spiritual oasis I had anticipated.

As the inner turmoil in my spirit flashes and flares from time to time, God has lovingly but firmly spoken the truth of His word into me:

“These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote” (Isaiah 29:13 NLT).

“For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17 NLT).

On my spiritual journey this summer I have encountered what we have often encountered on our family vacations – road construction! I have detoured through self-sufficiency, taken the wrong exit of excuses and argued with my Navigator about the best route to take. Yet, when I have stopped to let my Savior recalculate the direction of my spirit, I have experienced what my head knows but my heart forgot – an intimate relationship with Him stems from the flawlessness of His character, not mine.

Prayer: “Lord, remind me often that all my righteousness is as filthy rags. Create a thirst in my spirit that longs for You more than it longs to fulfill a routine.”

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 NIV).

About Cindy Martin

Cindy and her husband of 23 years live with their two special needs children near Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is passionate about people experiencing the difference Jesus desires to make in their everyday lives. This passion finds expression in her speaking, writing and teaching. Visit for more information.
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