I tend to be a creature of routine. I like to have a schedule, and I like to follow the schedule. That’s not to say I need to have every second of my life scheduled in, but I do like to know what’s going to happen at certain times of the day and on certain days of the week. Like Phineas Flynn, I like to know what I’m going to do today. That seems to make life fall into a natural rhythm for me and keep me on an even keel.
Right now, of course, I’m not in a routine at all. I’ve still been at the Wheatland Parish less than a week. Everyone has been wonderful to us, and Wanda and I look forward to getting to know all the people here. Still, I often feel a little off balance. Instead of knowing what I’m going to do, I constantly have to think, “What should I do next?”
That’s nobody’s fault, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. It’s a consequence of being new. Eventually, I’ll learn my way around. I’ll get into the habit of doing certain things at certain times. At some point, I’ll develop a routine for my life. That will feel good.
At least, it’ll feel good for a while. The thing about a routine is that, if we’re not careful. I routine can turn into a rut. When the rut gets too deep, then we can’t see over the top of it. The trouble with that is that we then miss chances to do God’s work, because those chances are outside of our field of vision. It’s not that we want to miss those chances, it’s that we can’t see them. Our rut has grown too deep and too comfortable. The longer we stay in our routine, the deeper we can make the rut, until finally the rut becomes so deep that it’s nearly impossible for us to climb out, even if we decide we want to.
Breaking out of a routine can be good in other ways, too. It can keep us fired up. It can keep us enthusiastic. It can help us see new ways of doing things, ways that may be better than the way we’ve been doing them. While I’ve never been one to believe in change for the sake of change, I also don’t believe in doing things the way we’ve always done them for no reason other than it’s the way we’ve always done them. Sometimes it’s good to realize that other people in other places have other ideas, and those ideas may be really good ones that will further our ability to do God’s work.
Getting out a rut is not always easy, nor is it always comfortable. The thing is, though, that God did not put us on earth to be comfortable. God put us on earth to serve God and to love our neighbors. It can be hard to do that when we can’t see over the top of our nice, comfortable rut.
So, even though I still feel a little off balance, there are ways in which it’s a good feeling. Being off balance makes me concentrate. It makes me pay attention. It may even make me a better pastor, one who’s better able to see ways to serve God.