Recently, for the first time in five months, I took my wife out to dinner! Our regular date night is something that we have highly valued over twenty years of marriage. It has been one of the regular rhythms we have intentionally built into our relationship.
The dinner itself was not the greatest. We had to sit outside at a table that was in a terrible spot. They brought the wrong order. The food was cold. But it didn’t matter as I sat across from the love of my life and we chatted about mostly nothing.
A missing rhythm had been restored and I felt things click back into place once again.
We are creatures of habit. We like our routines, even if we hate our routines. What I mean is, the routines in our life give us a sense of stability. Even if we don’t like getting up early to go to work or commuting to school, the regularity of those routines forms a structure of stability in our lives.
When routines are interrupted, our stress level increases because our comfort and security go down. I’m so much better prepared mentally and emotionally for a challenging meeting, if I’ve gone through my normal morning routine. But if that routine gets interrupted or I feel rushed or a pipe breaks in my house and I have to sleep somewhere else...suddenly what was going to be a challenging meeting now becomes overwhelming.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I think it is fair to say the last six months of our lives has messed with our rhythms!
Much of the regularity of our life has been destroyed. Many people’s work schedules have been interrupted. Our kids’ school schedules have been completely turned upside down. Things as normal as going to the grocery store and, yes, going out to eat have become foreign to us.
This has left many of us feeling highly stressed, confused, and angry. Things we would normally have been able to take in stride, now threaten to break us. We have found ourselves expecting the worst and our worries seem to come to fruition daily.
What are we to do?
Friends, we have to re-establish healthy rhythms in our lives. In the midst of chaos, healthy routines will help you weather the storms all around.
It’s time to re-establish family dinner time. We must create boundaries around our consumption of media. We have to regularly shut off our phones and screens. And we must fight to connect regularly with Father God — getting on our knees, spending time connecting with Him and reading His Word.
What rhythms and routines have you lost in this season? It’s time to start building them back in! The pastors of Kings County would love to help you build a healthy routine of connecting with God. Often a worship service can be a powerful first step. Churches are meeting online (and some outside) all over our community, perhaps your first routine to be re-established would be getting back to the Father.
I already feel the stress melting away.