We need to keep our routines and rituals burning strong in order to have smooth running and meaningful days.
Once again school has started, which means summer is basically over.
If you are anything like me, you wrongly assumed that your summer would be less busy; that you would clean out that linen closet, organize those piles of paper, read lots of books, and catch up on that Bible reading plan.
Why do we think this? From work, to kids, to vacations, to play dates, and home projects our summers fill up very quickly. And just as quickly the care of our souls is neglected.
I have been there and the danger is that the more we are away from the life-giving fire of God’s word, the colder our hearts become.
Caring for Your Soul
Has this happened to you? When you look back at your summer what went wrong? What took the place of the time you should have spent with God? I am not the most disciplined woman, so a disrupted routine throws me for a loop.
The danger is that drifting from God’s life-giving power causes us to feel spiritually lifeless and weak. Reaching for our Bibles becomes a reach too far, and praying seems to come to mind a lot less than needed.
So how do we get out of this stupor? How do we rebuild those spiritual muscles, and rekindle that flame in our heart?
Here is some uncomfortable and hard truth. We can’t. In our lethargic state, you and I are not strong enough. We need the power of God to work in us, to revive us and breathe new strength into us. While we need God to change us, he has chosen to use various graces to bring this about.
Things like Bible-reading, prayer, worship, and fellowship are just a few things that bring passion and love back into our lives.
What can we do now that school is back in session and summer is winding down?
Start new routines and rituals
Routines are those things that we do on a regular basis and rituals are the ways in which we do those things. Rituals are important because they help build our routines and make them enjoyable and fun.
Your routine might be getting up before the kids and reading your Bible, but the ritual might involve lighting a candle and making some coffee. Maybe you are more of a night owl and so once the kids are in bed you put on your yoga pants, sit in a comfy chair with a blanket and meditate on a verse or two.
No matter what you do, rebuild the routines and rituals that died out over the summer and you will begin to feel new life breathed into your soul.
I don’t mean keep track of how many days in a row you read, or how many verses you cover, books you finish, or sermons you listen to. I mean keep track of what God is teaching you. Write it down so you don’t forget. What are you learning? What is He convicting you of and what is He encouraging you in? We tend to be a very forgetful people, so write it down and revisit it.
Since it is God’s power that restores our joy and passion, we must ask Him for it. I am convinced that He won’t turn us down, but we do need to remember that His timing is not always our timing. We might want to be on fire and sold out for God tomorrow and God may be saying, I want you to continue to seek me even when you don’t necessarily feel like it. Cultivate gratitude and express it in prayer.
Always remember that while our love for God ebbs and flows, His love for us is steadfast, never changing, never wavering in the least amount. Take comfort in this amazing truth.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;