Where do we go from here…
There are certain times of the year when the calendar lends itself to self-reflection, self-evaluation, and goal setting. The beginning of the New Year is one of those times. So is the beginning of a school year. Even if you don’t have kids or your kids are grown and gone, the rhythm of summer’s end is marked by the beginning of school and felt by all. Summer becomes the biggest break from routine on the calendar and the fall semester marks the re-establishment of that routine. This makes it a great time to set a new routine. So with this in mind, let me suggest some essential elements for a healthy Christian routine.
- Go to church. Every week is the goal. Not once a month. Not twice a month. Every week. This is not about legalism. It’s about habit. Nothing bad can come from going to church weekly. Lot’s of bad can come from not going. Everyone needs the interaction of worship with the body of Christ. Jesus loves the church. If you are going to love and follow Jesus, you must love what he loves.
- Read your Bible. Every day. Not once a week. Not twice a week. Every day. Once again, not about legalism. This one is about relationship. God’s Word is how God speaks. God has a lot to say to you. To listen you need to read.
- Pray. Every hour. Yes, I said, every hour (with the exception of sleep). It is important to have those designated times of very formal prayer. Maybe before or after your read your Bible. A blessing before a meal. But I am talking about the habit of continuous prayer. Talking to God “as you go.” Need a parking space at Wal-Mart? Ask God right then. Enjoying a beautiful day? Tell God about it. Thank Him. Feeling burdened for someone? Pray for them right NOW. Live every moment of your life in holy conversation.
- Engage the Mission. Tell people about Jesus. Serve your church with a specific task or job. Go on a mission trip before next summer. Honestly, if you are really doing the first three, you won’t be able to stop yourself from going on mission to those around you and those around the world.
I’ll stop for now. There’s always more you can add to lists like these, but where ever you may find yourself in life right now, this is a pretty good foundation to build upon and a good idea on where to go from here….