Many wonderful things have conspired to rob my household of its normalcy … its routine. The birth of my daughter, the house full of visitors – family and friends. Baptisms, entertaining, visiting, playing catch-up.
It has been a real roller coaster of fun and excitement …and tears and blow-ups and melt-downs.
And I wish I was only talking about the children. Psychologists will tell you that even good things can become big stresses in a person’s life. I always knew that (sort of) but now, with a deeper understanding. Been there and done that, as the saying goes. Can there be such a thing as too much of a good thing?
I don’t think so … but I do think that without the proper framework, all that good begins to overwhelm us, where otherwise it might have had better effect. I saw this particularly in the reactions of myself and my kids. With each new passing day there was some new adventure, some new opportunity, some new strange and wonderful thing to see or do. But it got hard to enjoy it all. The framework wasn’t there to help us assimilate and appreciate it all.
Bedtimes were rewritten, schedules reshuffled, priorities turned upside down in an attempt to take it all in. And in the end, this actually kept us from getting the most out of it all. A person, whether 3 or 39, needs a routine, to help them make sense of everything they take in. Take away the routine and you take away the framework upon which we hang everything, thus allowing us to make sense of it all … allowing us to truly appreciate it all. We need time to adjust, digest, remember, focus, and appreciate the good that comes our way. Having a routine does all that.
It gave me a new appreciation for the Liturgy of the Church. God knows what He’s doing!
Each Sunday God has so many wonderful gifts to give us, so much good news for us. But He is careful to hand it out in a way that isn’t always new and novel. He provides a wonderfully routine framework on which to hang it all, appreciate it all, make sense of it all. In the Ordinaries of the day (all those parts of the service that don’t change from week to week) God provides an invaluable tool for truly appreciating the freshness of the particular gifts He provides in the Propers of the day (those parts of the service that do change from service to service). The latter gives us new opportunities to rejoice and celebrate the many and varied gifts and mercies of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord, but the former keeps us from becoming overwhelmed, and gives us the ability to absorb it in a meaningful way.
After the last few weeks of crazy blessings I’ve had, I am happy to say that this Sunday I will be appreciating the blessing of God’s routine, in a way I haven’t before. Here’s to rejoicing in the routine of God’s gifts in the Liturgy of His Holy Church!