“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering” (Romans 12:1, MSG).
I love routine.
I plod around my house each morning with my eyes barely open, doing the same tasks I did the day before. I follow a schedule day by day, week by week with shopping days, volunteering days, writing days, cleaning days, and such.
Each night, I drink a cup of hot tea in one of my favorite mugs before I go to bed. Every night. Summer, winter, makes no difference.
So, a few weeks ago when my whole schedule was off and it was far too late for a reasonable cup of tea before I climbed into bed, I felt a little shaky and definitely a little off. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t settle in under the covers and turn out the light without at least a few sips from my teacup.
It’s not that I’m a tea addict. I’m a routine addict.
It was late. It was silly and ludicrous. I should have just plopped my head on the pillow and been done with it, but instead I stayed up an extra 15 minutes so I could sip at my tea just like I do every night. It was wonderful, peaceful, calming, just right.
Given my love for the routine of daily life, I was not at all surprised when my six-year-old brought me a neon orange paper that read (and I quote):
The basic reality of daily life, of routine, and of the mundane is that we all live it in some way or another—me in my adult world, my daughter in her child world. We commute to work. We go to school. We walk the dog. We make phone calls. We volunteer. We give baths and make dinners. We run errands. We clock in; we clock out.
What I love about the resurrection appearances of Jesus is that He surprised the disciples by inviting Himself into their daily routine. Sure He appeared to them in the upper room, where they were gathered for worship and prayer. That’s to be expected.
But then He did something totally different. He showed up on the side of the Sea of Galilee and watched them wrestle with fishing nets and bring nothing up from the water.
He went to work with them.
Early in the morning, maybe as the first flickers of sunlight skipped over the Galilean waters, Jesus called out to his tired friends. They didn’t recognize his voice; he was just some curious bystander sticking his nose into their own personal business, giving them instructions as if He knew more about fishing than they did—a bunch of expert fisherman.
He told them to “‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.’ When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish” (John 21:6).
That’s when they recognized the Lord.
In A Year With Jesus, Eugene Peterson wrote:
“Work that was futile apart from Christ becomes successful in His presence . .. Your resurrection life, Lord Jesus, is like a sunrise in work that has lost meaning and in routines that have become pointless. Whatever my work today, I will do it in the recognition of Your presence and under Your command” (p. 594).
“The resurrection transforms Monday work as much as Sunday worship” (p. 596).
Jesus made it clear in those 40 days following His resurrection that He wasn’t just looking to be part of our sacred lives and in the religious moments we schedule on the calendar. He wanted us to live with a curious mesh and entwining of sacred and secular, where He’s with us during every part of our day.
He sets our routine. He is our routine. He shakes up our routine. He designs our routine. He redesigns our routine.
You’d think we fairly intelligent people could get by on our own living out our daily lives. But, I’ve decided that I can’t and I’m okay with that.
That’s why you’ll find me in the Wal-Mart parking lot once a week with my head bent low in the few minutes before I exit my car. It’s because I’m a mess on my own—making stupid decisions about what to buy and what not to buy, forgetting what I need, falling for advertising gimmicks and sales tricks, traveling back and forth across the whole store because I forgot something on my list, making a list and then leaving it in my car or at home, trying to use outdated coupons and failing to use perfectly good coupons that I spent perfectly good time cutting out.
Why should God care about my budget and my meal plan for the week and for the items on my list and my own personal sanity? Because He loves me, that’s why. Because the grocery store is where I lay out my nets and hope for an abundance of fish.
You have your own Galilean place, where Jesus is trying to invite Himself and where He’s waiting to give you input and advice. Perhaps it’s the routine that makes you feel so comfortable and that you think you can handle all on your own. Perhaps it’s the place you feel most capable and expert. Maybe it’s a place where you experience failure and emptiness.
You haven’t seen abundance until you’ve felt the blessing of His presence in the midst of your routine. It’s time to invite Him into the boat with you.
You can read more devotionals on this topic here:
- It’s a Miracle!
- I’m Desperate For You
- Whatever You Do, Part I
- The Holy Act of Doing Dishes
- Why I’m Leaving
- Turning Aside
- What Does the Lord Require?
- Everyday, Ordinary Life
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.