I have fallen into a routine. I go through the motions of my life but there seems to be no life. I make my way downstairs, get my coffee and then open up the top part of our dutch doors to let the cool air in. I look groggily out into the world and gaze at nothing as I try to wake up. I don’t even notice the squirrels.
The predictable pattern continues as I sit down in the same chair and read the Bible. I read the words but they are just words on the page. They are supposed to be an open door into a conversation with God but I don’t go to the door. I struggle to stop and get out of the routine. I want to go deeper and have more conversation with God. I know He’s encouraging me to break out, but…well…I can’t get myself out of the rut.
This morning, after my Bible reading, I opened up a new book. It is a book that I have been waiting to read because I know I need to interact with the content or at least hope to interact with it. The book was written over 70 years ago by a missionary named Frank Laubach. It is entitled Letters by a Modern Mystic. Frank yearned for a conscious moment-by-moment communion with God. He had a yearning, a dream, an if-God-asks-us-to-do-it-it-must-be-possible type of hope. He tried to be aware of God throughout the day. His plan was simple, to spend one second of every minute with God.
I read the introduction and opening words. The routine is gone. Life is suddenly vibrant. I am aware of a deep longing in me. It is more of a burning desire. I want to spend more time with God. There is a faint knocking at the door.
Maybe I’m different from everybody else. I get caught up in my own world. It’s not that I don’t want God in my life—I do…desperately. That is why I have my daily disciplined time with God. But lately, I put my head down and think about what I need to do next. I have good intentions to spend quality time with God during the day. Sadly, though, I get to the end of the day and I drop my head. It is not that I am ashamed. It’s not that I feel that God is angry with me, although He could be. It is more that I am aware of all of those opportunities that I missed throughout the day to awaken myself to what God is about and what He desires of me. The routine has trapped me.
The routine resumes as I get up to fetch another cup of coffee. Suddenly I am drawn to the door. I notice the cool morning breeze that is airing out the stuffiness of my house. I am startled by the sound of the birds in delight, play and song. I stop to enjoy, look to the sky and wonder what type of day this going to be. I begin to breathe deeply. I wonder where God is going to meet me.
I am reminded of the verse in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.”
Lord Jesus, keep me, no…strap me to the open door. Help me to breathe. Awaken me to what You are doing. Only You can get me out of the routine.
Photo by John Millard