a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program
I hate routine. I love routine. I think that’s what we’d call a love/hate relationship. That concept never really made sense to me, especially in reference to relationships. Truth is, I either loved being with a person, or disliked (cause we’re not allowed to hate anyone) being with a person.
But applying the love/hate relationship to routine is totally appropriate. Here in the jungle, the routine is that there is no routine. In fact, there’s so much non-routine that it screams “this is the routine” daily. (I’ve said the word routine so much now that it’s beginning to sound like it isn’t really a word.)
Our life here can go from completely uncomplicated and unscheduled to wild and crazy no rest for the weary in a blink. On the one hand, I completely love that there are days that I can do exactly what I want or need but then some mornings I wake up and despise those days, desperately longing for some kind of ROUTINE!!!!!
Here’s the dilemma: when my life is following a routine, I feel disciplined and empowered, but when my life is controlled by routine, I feel frustrated and bored. I don’t want to live life in a constant state of running the hamster wheel everyday. I need change, something to look forward to, a break in the monotony. On the other hand, I need a schedule, a plan, a path to reach goals. See what I mean by the love/hate thing.
1 Corinthians 9:12 says, “I discipline my body, like an athlete, training it to do what it should.” I believe that God always rewards discipline and discipline cannot come unless we live our lives by some kinds of routine.
But I also believe that God didn’t just create this massively intricate and amazingly beautiful world for us to always live our lives in a disciplined routine. That would mean that we never stopped our schedules to enjoy what he’s given us: nature, family, friends, etc.
So it’s in this contradiction that I’ve learned to accept my love/hate relationship with routine. School starts again for us in a few weeks (I’m thrilled for the chance at routine, no seriously I am.) But I’m also looking forward to those days when the routine breaks and we do something unexpected or we enjoy the vapor-like beauty of life for a moment before getting back to “the grind.”
God calls us to enjoy both for there is beauty in both. So instead of dreading the school year, which is the ultimate routine for those in the North American mindset, find joy in its ability to help us grow smarter, healthier, stronger, closer to our lifelong dreams. But in all that routine, take moments to break it, to savor the moment of God’s blessings whether it be time with friends, a day at the beach, a good book, or a silly moment with the family.
Instead of feeling the love/hate with routine, let’s savor both and make it a love/love relationship.