When Routine is a Bad Thing

I read a number of websites on a regular basis. Most of them are centered on the themes of faith, personal development, simple living, or minimalism. In other words, some of the same things that I write about here.

One common thread that I seem to find often is the idea of routine. Apparently, there is a correlation between simplifying and improving your life and having regular daily routines. I know the morning routines of several bloggers. I know what they do for and during lunch. I know what they do at night. They tout the benefits of planning ahead, having daily habits, and leaving little room for interruptions.

I have written about some of the same things over the years.

But routine can sometimes be a bad thing. It can lead to boredom. It can take away your spontaneity. It can lead to a predictable life.

A.W. Tozer, a great Christian pastor of the last century, once wrote of the Church that we do the rote, then we get in a rut, which leads us to ROT!

I believe this is true of the Church and also in our own personal lives.

Like you, I have a lot of routines in my life. Some are good and others are not so good. I have a daily habit of drinking coffee, reading my Bible, and praying before I begin writing early in the morning. This is a good habit that can easily lead to a rut. I have to change the way I approach Bible reading and prayer in order to keep it fresh. I don’t follow the same pattern of reading all of the time. Sometimes I read straight through a book of the Bible. Sometimes I do a word study. Sometimes I use a devotional guide.

If I follow the same routine all of the time, I’ll get in a rut and begin to rot.

But this isn’t about Bible reading. That’s just an example. Have you ever thought about taking a different route to work if for no other reason but to get out of the rut that is your commute? You may see things or places you’ve never seen before!

Do you go to the same places for lunch week after week? One reason I don’t like going to franchise restaurants is because they all seem the same to me. I like going to local places because the atmosphere and menu is usually unique to that particular place.

Do you read the same genre of books? I mean, really, how many romance novels can you read? What if you mixed in a biography every once in a while?

Do you watch the same shows on TV? What if you broke away from the E! Channel and watched the History Channel? Who knows? How Honey is Made might be more entertaining then Honey Boo-Boo.

Do you sit in the same seats at ball games, social events, or church every week? (If you attend church often, the answer is YES!) We are such creatures of habit. What if you sat in different places each time? You’ll get a different perspective and meet new people.

What routines do you have that are in a rut – or maybe beginning to rot? How can you change your routines to keep them fresh? What other options are out there that will help you maintain good daily disciplines yet add a little spice to them?

Think on these things. Keep it real. Keep it fresh.

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