As I change my calendar to the month of October, I’m looking forward to the routines that lie ahead. There’s something comforting about packing away summer essentials and getting ready for the fall season. Sandals and shorts are exchanged for sneakers and sweaters, and soon shorter days will bring cooler breezes and colorful leaves.
In our home, we also look forward to exchanging summer décor for autumn decorations. This usually involves at least one trip to a local farm to find pumpkins as well as apples and cider to be sampled. These routines have become part of our family’s fall regimen, which offers a reassuring rhythm to our lives.
I’ve been thinking a lot about routines and habits lately—and not simply because of the shifting seasons. I recently read a book by a famous dancer and choreographer who penned these words: “Even in the worst of times …. habits sustain, protect, and, in the most unlikely way, lift us up” (Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit, p. 243). This particular reflection happened to be about how she, as a New Yorker, coped with the tragedy of September 11, 2001—but Ms. Tharp has also found that fostering certain habits has been beneficial to many aspects of her life.
I believe the same principle is true for our walk of faith. By building spiritual routines into our experiences, we create patterns that help us in the good, bad, and in-between times of living. Actually, from the beginning of His ministry, Jesus made it clear that the Christian walk must be one of routine: “Then he said to the crowd, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me’” (Luke 9:23-24, New Living Translation).
What are some of these daily habits—or “take up your cross” activities— that you and I can be developing as we strive to follow Jesus? Here are a few routines to consider:
- Read God’s Word each day. This involves setting aside specific time to get into Scripture so we can find out more about the Lord and how He’d like us to live. As II Timothy 2:15 encourages us: “Work hard so God can say to you, ‘Well done.’ Be a good workman, one who does not need to be ashamed when God examines your work. Know what his Word says and means” (The Living Bible).
- Pray daily for the Lord’s provision, protection, and wisdom. Read how the psalmist David started his day: “Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:2-3, NLT).
- Attend church and fellowship with other Christians.We have the example of early believers to follow on this one: “They worshiped together regularly at the Temple each day, met in small groups in homes for Communion, and shared their meals with great joy and thankfulness, praising God” (Acts 2:46, TLB).
The investment we make in our relationship with the Lord will always pay off, especially as we create routines that will help us know Him on a deeper, more personal level. And I definitely believe that these spiritual habits will indeed “sustain, protect, and, in the most unlikely way, lift us up!”
May the days ahead will be filled with family, fun, and a harvest of blessings as well as lots of great habits that will help you through all seasons of life.
Happy Fall from all of us at Sonkist Ministries!
Thought of the Month
I Thessalonians 5:15-22 (NLT)