May 31st – Routines and Relationships



I don’t know why I’m telling you this, because by doing so I’m inviting your scornful comment ‘Silly old fool’, and you’d be right. Each morning I turn off the radio alarm, set to an unearthly hour,then go to the bathroom, and go down to unlock the front doors and make a mug of tea before going into the study for a quiet time of Bible reading and writing out my daily letter to God. Every day I do this. It’s an ingrained habit.
Well, the other day I woke up as usual, turned off the alarm as usual before it went off, did all I usually do, unlocking the front doors then putting the kettle on. Then I looked at the kitchen clock. It was five to two! I’d only been in bed two hours, and come to think of it, it was a bit dark for an early spring morning. So I went back to bed for another four hours, and couldn’t sleep.I must be getting really old. Why did I get up in the middle of the night and start the routine? Then it struck me. Perhaps God was indicating that I was living by rote, by mindless routine, without really being aware, even when writing out my daily page to him, I could be in a spiritual rut!
Yes, I know that habits are necessary. We can’t live and learn without them. Routine can set us free from continually having to invent the wheel. But when my prayer life is so much a part of a routine, that I am merely going through the motions, then I need to be reminded that meeting God is not a daily chore.It is a living personal encounter. The supreme privilege.The reaching out to touch the hem of His garment – a time to be still and listen. “The Holy One is here”.
“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130: 1-2, 5.

A Prayer:
For good habits, we thank you Lord, but deliver us from the mindless daily routines, which, like mental prisons, have no place for loving, for laughing, for listening, and which change living relationships into the rigmaroles of the dead.

P.S.Did you hear about the priest who dreamt he was preaching a sermon and woke up to find he was?

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Thought 4 The Day

A Prayer by George Herbert 1593: O God thou hast given so much to us, give one thing more, a grateful heart; for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen

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