This past semester was one of the busiest periods of school I have ever experienced. I was serving in leadership at my school, working as a freelance editor, and babysitting about twelve hours a week. I also started the semester taking fifteen hours worth of credit. While I truly loved all of the different things I was doing, I soon realized that the combination of everything was physically and mentally taxing. I realized that it would be best to lighten my load, so I dropped my business class to ease my workload. I had a little more time in between school and work to recoup, and I had more time in the evening for sleep. However, time management became key as I began to juggle school, work, church involvement, and studying.
I have always enjoyed having a busy schedule. I like knowing exactly what is expected of my time and knowing exactly what is expected of me during this time. This repetitive back to back schedule was fulfilling my love for the known and my desire to be able to accomplish the work that I needed to. So in trying to figure out how to juggle my busy schedule, it seemed natural to create a weekly routine. I could fill in the things that I needed to accomplish and schedule in the coffee dates that I wanted to have so that I could make sure I would have time to fit everything into my schedule. Google calendar became my best friend, and I had my week planned out every Monday.
However, about halfway through the semester I sensed some monotony in my routine. While the things I longed to achieve were getting done and I was showing up to the places that I needed to, I wasn’t truly approaching these situations with a desire to serve the Lord, but rather from a place of routine. This could easily be seen in the papers I wrote, the articles I edited, my relationship with the family I babysat for, and the goals I longed to achieve in house leadership. They were becoming things I needed to accomplish and the quality of the work I was producing began to slip. It was as if I was walking through life in a trance, going through the motions of the day off of memory.
Now I think it is here that some, myself included, might ask is this a bad thing? Here is what I know.
God has created each and every one of us to be in relationship with Him, to be in relationship with others, and to share His glory in our day to day lives. It is through Him that we have a new life—a life and a mission that we didn’t have before Him and we cannot have without Him. Not only has He designed us this way, but He has also given us unique gifts and passions to use in our attempts to glorify him.
In only facing the routine of the day, checking things off of the to do list, and producing subpar work, I wasn’t approaching the work that I was doing from the foundation of the Gospel—hence the lifelessness. God has created us in His image, and he has given us talents to reflect His image in the broken world around us. So, when we get stuck in a routine, and don’t use the skills and opportunities that He has given us, we aren’t fulfilling our purpose.
It is only through Christ that you and I will be able to use the opportunities that make up our daily routine and give them a life and an excellence that they would otherwise not have.
I challenge you to look at your daily routine. Where are you simply going through the motions? How are you using the skills and opportunities God has given you to share His life with humanity?