I’m an orderly type of guy. I like to know where things are without having to look for them. At the end of the day, my desk top is clear. My to-do lists get done. I look ahead to know what I need to be prepared when I get there. I read my Bible Lesson first thing in the morning, always. I’ve developed a number of routines in my daily schedule that enable me to accomplish much by the end of each day. And for the most part, it’s been a successful way to live and work.
But recently, I realized there’s a downside to fixed routines one must be aware of.
There are good routines and there are bad routines.
For instance, take bad habits. Do you have any of those? I have a couple…LOL. It occurred to me that if we get too much into letting the human mind outline our routine, it could just as easily outline a bad routine as it could outline a healthy routine. Mindless eating, smoking, swearing, apathy, itching, depression, cynicism, and many more…
I thought about those bad habits I’d like to break. I do them over and over again without thinking. A routine! And I thought that perhaps the bad habit isn’t so much the problem, as acceptance of the routine.
So, I began to redeem the concept of routine.
I thought about how Mary Baker Eddy had a rigid routine each day to manage her office hours. It was the only way she could get private time to herself and be still with God without outside interference. It was a practical necessity. It was a good routine. But the routine she established was to allow for inspiration. Routine mastered her schedule. Inspiration ruled her mind. And that’s what I needed more of. To be guided more by inspiration and less by routine.
And that’s been my prayer. To break the mesmerism of acting on blind routine, and be sure I’m acting on inspiration.
I still stick to my scheduling habits that allow for time to gain the inspiration I need to prosper during the day, but I’m challenging the in between moments when the human mind goes on auto-pilot and acts without thinking and those mental spaces become opportunity for error to repeat its nonsense. I pray to have every action guided by inspiration, and not by routine. And it’s helping. I’m making progress! And there is more to come, no doubt.
Are you acting on routine or inspiration? It could make all the difference.