For a few months while my son-in-law was stationed in West Africa, my daughter and two-year-old grandson Jack lived with us. Jack likes routines. Every afternoon when I came home from work, Jack would immediately run up to me with arms outstretched, indicating he wanted me to pick him up.
So we went through our same routine every day. First, we went over to a light switch so he could turn on the living room light/fan. Then we walked to the light and I held him up while he pulled the light chord—off, then on. Next, we went to the beam on the ceiling between the living room and kitchen, and I lifted him up until his head lightly tapped the beam. From there, we focused on all the upper kitchen cabinets as he proceeded to open and shut each one. Finally, we moved to the dining room light switch and turned it on. Then he was happy and let me put him down! He felt so comfortable with this routine that if I was away for a few days, the instant I got home, he insisted on going through it.
I am not a great lover of routines, but I recognize that with some things repetition is great. Spending time with God, for example. While I am a big proponent of teaching people to pray throughout the day—like 1 Thessalonians 5:17 challenges us to do—I also recognize that a discipline of prayer and being in the Word is a good practice for every believer. Since I am not prone to routines, I have to make an effort to be disciplined in this area. But it is worth it. The peace and comfort that comes from simply spending time in the Word, as well as some regular time in prayer, has a soothing effect on me.
I think that is why Jack is so into routines. Deep down he experiences peace and comfort when his Grampy holds him and enjoys him—that calms him and gives him great encouragement. So keep up your routine! Your heavenly Father will delight to join you.
Jonathan Graf is the Publisher of Prayer Connect magazine.