Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Breaking From the Routine

Ever hear that saying that humans are creatures of habit? Hello, I must be human! Me + routine = happy. I like to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. I like to eat more or less at the same time every day. And every time I get on the computer, no matter what my original goal was, my auto-pilot takes over and opens up a certain browser, opens several pages in different tabs, always in the same order, opens WMP, and opens my latest chapter, and then usually another certain browser. It's like I can't stop it, it just takes over!  Which is a good thing when it comes to my morning Bible reading.
Sometimes I think it would be entirely to live my life in my sleep, totally on auto-pilot. At least, when it comes to routine things like checking my email, taking a shower, baking bread, etc. This could be a good thing, but it could also be a bad thing. The biggest reason it is a bad thing is that it seems like it's all too easy to develop a routine of useless things and not as easy to develop a routine of good things. I don't know why that is, I guess it's just human nature or something (that's always a good fall-back for tossing blame, right?).
The other big reason for me that living purely based on routine is... well actually it's several things kinda wrapped into one. I mean, if you're just going through life on autopilot, where's the joy in life? Most people don't have a spot in their schedule to "stop and smell the roses" (how cliché BLAH :P) or watch the sun rise or be amused at the antics of a young dad in walmart making his child laugh. And it seems like most of the things we do by autopilot are not as meaningful. I mean, if I was just writing this blog purely on autopilot it probably wouldn't be all that interesting. (it is interesting, right? :P )
I once had a shirt that said "Any dead fish can tumble downstream. Go against the flow." That was my favorite shirt for a long time too ;)  haa ha! Anyway, I think a lot of us just tumble through life like a dead fish. I do sometimes and then I spend the whole night kicking myself for not getting anything done. Well sometimes I get stuff done going through life like that but it's usually something like washing dishes that keep getting dirty or making meals that disappear faster than I can make them etc. To me, living life on purpose is so much better and fulfilling. Setting goals for the day, week, month, year, etc. or taking the extra effort to help someone out.
This reminds me of the story Jesus told in Matthew 25 about separating the nations at the end of the age. The people on the left --the "goats"-- were the kind of people who just tumble downstream, going through life on autopilot, not noticing the hungry and naked and poor around them. The other side, of course, took the time to make a difference. That is not to say that doing good works should be our focus, but living by faith doesn't mean you pass through life oblivious to everything else. Afterall, faith without WORKS is dead, right? Sorry, I'll stop there because that's a whole other blog. Book, really ;)
So anyway, all this to say, PAY ATTENTION! Don't let life just pass you by. Don't just float through life on the little raft of your routine. Put some effort into life. Take time to do something for someone else. Enjoy every moment because it won't last long.

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