Now, give me a wave if you also know that, just like eating our vegetables, routine is not only good for us but is one of the secrets to success. While the benefits of routine for our personal lives and careers have been well-documented, I want to take a minute and touch on the importance of routine in our spiritual lives and share three ways I, a serial routine destroyer, have managed to build some consistency into my life.
I like change; new places, new people and new challenges energise me and I can easily get frustrated when things become stagnant. While my list of passions, hopes and dreams have been known to change on a weekly basis, the only consistent thing in my life since I became a christian has been my attendance at church. This wasn’t and still isn’t enough. While inconsistency was definitely evident in my outer life, it was also raging in my inner life. I struggled with regular quiet times with God, with prayer and with reading the Word. This meant I was continually up and down in my faith, and that my passion and conviction for Jesus changed with the rising sun and ever-shifting circumstances of life.
In my own strength I could never seem to get it together: try, fail, try fail, over and over again. Luckily for me God’s in the business of transformation and he has been working overtime! I definitely don’t get it right all the time but now, instead of not noticing I haven’t spent time with God, I LOVE going to the breakfast table with my bible and journal in hand and I miss it when I don’t. Instead of praying once a week, I find myself praying throughout the day and I have noticed my faith and passion has become more steady.
We all want to make a difference, do something big and stand up and be counted for Jesus, but unless we get back to the basics, we are going nowhere fast in our own strength. We need consistency in our lives in order for God to build something lasting and impacting. Luke 16:10 says “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones, (NLT)”. With that in mind, here are three things that have really helped me build some consistency into my life.
Find a spot
This is a simple concept, but building a routine you actually enjoy plays a huge part in getting it to stick. I really love the quiet, fresh feeling that comes with bare feet padding through the house as the sun begins to peak. The soft glow of the lamp as the house awakens, some fresh coffee and an open bible and journal at the kitchen table. In those moments God meets me and I miss them on the days I sleep in or rush instead of savouring them.
This is not a ‘Dear Diary’ but a ‘Dear Jesus’ type of journal. Firstly I date every page, then I will write down the scriptures that jump out at me, I write what I feel the Lord is saying to me from the passage, any questions I have and any prayers on my heart. These help me engage in quiet time instead of mindlessly skimming passages. It also helps me track how consistent I’ve been and challenges me to pick up my game when I notice chunks of time when I haven’t been journalling.
My quiet times really evolved when I became part of a small accountability group with women from my church. Every week we met to discuss aspects of our Christian walk and I was expected to come prepared to share some scripture and what God had spoken to me about during the week. When we first started I would panic the day of our meeting, scrabble to find a scripture and quickly ask God “Help, what have you been saying to me this week?”. Slowly I have become more consistent and, while I’m far from perfect, in my growing consistency I have found great joy and strength.
Let’s seek Him! It’s never too late to start or too late to get back up and try again. He will always show up, speak up and bring great joy and satisfaction when we seek him.
What are some of the ways you have been able to build consistent time with God in your life? I’d love to hear your suggestions.