Depending on when you ask, I might call myself a weightlifter. I used to wear that label proudly, but it’s actually been months since I lifted more than a 10-pound kettle bell…and that was only to move it out of the way. I’m a long way from being able to bench press 165 pounds again. I have a very long list of reasons as to why that is the case. Actually, I have no reasons…only excuses.
Weightlifting is routine based. I remember that with the routine, the more time I spent in the gym building my strength, the more time I wanted to spend in the gym. I would often prepare myself throughout the day by running through my weightlifting routine in my head, practicing my breathing, and counting my reps. Regaining that strength (especially at my age) is going to be a lot harder than it would have been to maintain it or even gain it initially.
I often compare this excuse-laden lack of discipline to my lack of discipline in my spiritual routine. I do not always maintain a routine of setting aside time to build spiritual strength through prayer and praise.
What is my excuse? We are each surrounded by routines. Routines are nothing new.
We serve an orderly God…even the universe runs on a routine. The earth makes its annual rotation around the sun. Our seasons change in the same order every year. The amount of daylight we have increases and decreases with the seasons.
Our nation runs on routines…elections, legislative sessions, national holidays and celebrations, school schedules.
Our internal body clock holds us to routines…when to eat, when to sleep.
We need routine. If we didn’t have specified places and times for certain activities, the entire world would be in a state of chaos. Just think of how things were spun into chaos when the pandemic changed everyone’s routines.
We don’t want a routine to turn into a monotonous have to, and we certainly don’t want to get into a rut. Praying to God shouldn’t get us into a rut…it should get us out of whatever rut we’re in.
David had a routine when it came to speaking to God…Psalm 5:3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
And David’s routine included awaiting God’s direction. Psalm 143:8 - Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Even under threat of death, David prayed three times a day. With no recognized threat of any kind sometimes I don’t manage a dedicated one time of prayer in a day.
As I work to get back into my weightlifting routine to build strength, I hope to also build spiritual strength as I solidify my spiritual routine. And just as going to the gym made me want to spend more time in the gym, I know that spending time with God will make me want to spend even more time with Him.
Where does time with God fall into your daily routine? If you already have a well-established routine, how did you get into that habit? If you don’t have one, how could you craft one into the other routines of your day?
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