Friday was a perfect example of how lacking I am of routine at the moment.
Thursday was Election Day in the UK. So I voted in the afternoon, and was able to stay up until the early hours watching the results come in. Friday I wasn’t starting one job until 11:30am, so I was able to stay up on a ‘school’ night’ really late, having midnight snacks in the form of mince pies and pringles (don’t worry, it’s far from the norm for me to do that, well the staying up late bit anyway).
I still woke up early yesterday, time to catch up on what I missed from last night’s election results, have a quick read, and even squeeze in a blog entry before heading to a school 20 miles away to teach about living safely in terms of alcohol, drugs, sexual health and all that. Usually known as the ‘drug man’ at schools, I’m finished there at 12:30pm, ready to drive back to Bracknell, and to Kerith to work on the various things I’m involved with at church. Done around 5pm ready to chill in the evening with no plans (which is nice for a change!). But then realising that I am meeting up with somebody to mentor, before getting home for the evening around 7pm. That was Friday 7th May 2010, but every day is different.
I hope this doesn’t sound self-obsessed blabbing on about what I’ve been doing, but my absence of a standard-one-job- 9 to 5 ‘routine’ for me is teaching me some important things:
1. God has given us a spirit of self-discipline. This verse is one of those verses that sticks with me. Literally as well as mentally as its on a little card in my wallet (cliched I know, but I don’t care what you think!). It is so important to remember that God has given us a spirit of self-discipline, so we need to live like it. With a lack of routine, we can become lazy, unmotivated, and stationary in our life. Be self-disciplined, get up at a decent time of the day, use your time wisely (split your days into 1 hour ‘slots’ to make each hour productive if that helps), if you’re spending time relaxing, be purposeful in your relaxing. If you’re working, work diligently and effectively.
2. Be ready to be interrupted in life. With no set routine, I try to always in an available place to be ‘interrupted’ by things in life, times to help people, times to strengthen and encourage people, times to build people up, times to correct and guide people, times to just be a shoulder to cry on. Remember that sometimes those unplanned chats with people end up having a fantastic impact on yourself, or them, or maybe or a lot more people. Those times when you are interrupted in your task in order to help somebody else with their task can have a huge effect on them. This needs us to be flexible and willing to serve other’s needs above our own.
Jesus was constantly interrupted in his life, whilst walking through the crowds he’d be continually stopped in order to heal somebody, raise people from the dead, to teach somebody, to help somebody. Jesus was open to interruption.
Lets not be bound by our routines. It can be really annoying when somebody asks me for a quick ‘chat’ when I’m due to be leaving. It can be really frustrating when I don’t get something done that I wanted to do, because I was helping somebody finish their ‘thing’. But this such an important lesson in living a life of selflessness and humility.
Routines themselves aren’t bad, but our rigid, non-negotiable attitudes to step away from them can be utterly destructive to us and others.