Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Routine Faith:

It's so easy to get caught up in our routines. Somehow those things that should be in the background of our lives find their way to the forefront. This reflection is a challenge to step back and be set free from the chains of our routine.

Zechariah 7:5

Ask the people of the land and the priests, “When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?”

We function on routine. In fact, we find comfort in the predictability that routine offers. We know that each day the sun will rise and that it will set. We know that we will pass through twenty four hours in a day, and seven days in a week. We have our daily schedules planned, and our alarm clocks set for the same time each day. There is a sense of power that comes in being in control of our routine, until of course that routine begins to control us. For many of us, that loss of control is so subtle that is goes unnoticed until the damage is done.

In Zechariah 7, God is warning His people of the danger of their routine, and questioning the motives of their heart. For seventy years, year after year they had held a fast in honor of Him. And although originally inspired by the gratitude and love in their hearts, slowly this sacrifice became a mere part of their routine. A habitual response that was losing it’s fervor with every passing year. There hearts were no longer in it. They were so accustomed to the habit of their worship, that somehow through the rigidness of their schedules, God had been cast aside and neglected.

How many of us can relate? How many of us can remember a time where the routine of our spirituality replaced our passion for the Lord? Our prayers became dull and ritualistic? Our worship reduced to words on a page? How many of us have exchanged that uninhibited joy that came with entering His presence, for a dull and dry sense of accomplishing “that task”. Another line crossed through our mental list of things to do. How many of us would confess that through our constrained routine of spirituality, we were no longer free to really be with Him? We were worshiping our routine, rather than our Lord.

Today may we be challenged to step back from our lens of routine and take a new look at our faith. May we take a good look at our lives and confess the complacency that has taken root in the dull soil of our rituals. May we get desperately on our knees and beg for God to restore to us the passion that we once had. May we be begin to wake up daily, taking the false perception of control that we so eagerly cling to, and hand it over to Him. And in turn, may He ignite in us a passion for Him far beyond the walls of our routine faith. May He fill us with a radical love that penetrates into every part of our lives. And may He shatter the comfortable bubble that we have built around ourselves, inviting us into His unpredictable presence.

Lord, forgive us for our routine faith; a faith that has so many times become about habit rather than about You. Take back your rightful place in our lives, so that we can once again live in nothing less than awe.

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