Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

Rejoicing in the Routine!


routinesWhat a whirlwind the past couple of weeks has been!

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!


Author: kenmaher

When I'm not working I enjoy Astronomy, Camping, Comic Books, Epic Fantasy Novels, Games (both playing and designing), Hiking, Juggling, Sci-fi, and building strange things out of pvc pipe. I also enjoy being an honorary pre-schooler with my four great children ... much to their mother's dismay.

4 thoughts on “Rejoicing in the Routine!

  1. There are times I have found myself humming or singing the familiar parts of liturgy when my usual/former routines of life seem skewed or out of balance. I am grateful for those familiars which remind us of and bring us back to the one true “constant” of life.

  2. Hey that’s a pretty cool train of thought! When I lived in Kentucky (yep: hollers, mountains and lots of bluegrass music), the church we went to had no liturgy, but we had God and each other – and it was precisely where the Lord wanted us at that time. It was also the first time I read the entire Bible cover to cover. I saw God move beautifully and powerfully in our midst, but every once in a while we went to the Lutheran church over the mountain or the Epicopal church across the valley. On those precious few days, I found the liturgy to have more depth, beauty and power than I’d never known. I’d be weeping by the time we got to communion. I understood for the first time the words, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Alleluia….” I’m thankful for all those years spent looking at the “green book” in what seemed (at the time, to me) like useless rote. Because in the end, it was those very routines that set the stage for a true and living, definitely non-rote relationship with God; one that has become the framework upon which everything in my life hangs.

  3. Tracey, those very same parts you hum when life gets out of balance are also really great at calming down children before bedtime! They are wonderfully calming and comforting at any age and after any kind of day!

  4. Zanna!

    Great to hear from you again! Hope life is treating you and the family well. I’m glad you posted your thoughts.

    I couldn’t agree more … Sometimes God makes a huge impression on us in all the wildly unscripted parts of life. But I also think that He makes his lasting impression in that “still small voice” Elijah experienced on the mountain. Thunder and lightening is great every now and again, but I’ll take the comfort of the unchanging word of the Gospel every day.

    It is precisely the parts we learn by rote that will be there for us when the memories and the emotions of the big events are long past. And just like you say, when we get past the process of rote … that’s when all the things we’ve learned by rote really start to blossom and open up their beauty!

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