The older I get, the more I value and need routine. It keeps me from overthinking, or thinking at all. Like,what to wear? I decide the night before, when I’m more lucid, which isn’t saying much.
Since the pandemic took its deadly turn, and we’re home bound, I’ve taken to wearing pretty much the same outfit. Sweatpants with assorted tops, which turns out to be either a red turtleneck or white one during the holidays. Long gone is any fashion flair. There’s no scarf tossed over my shoulder or tied neatly Dr. Birx style. Most days I look like an athlete who’s taken time off, too much time.
Well, what prompted this blog was thinking about routine as sacred rituals. December 29th was a day at Canterbury when they remembered the death of Saint Thomas Becket, 850 years ago. Dean Robert posed a question that still niggles. “What did the monks do the day after Archbishop Becket was murdered in the Cathedral?” The answer was, despite fears they’d be next, the monks resumed their daily routine. At the sounding of the bells, they prayed, read or sang the Psalms. And through acts of discipline, love, and obedience lived out their calling that day. Even with quaking knees and pounding hearts, terror took a backseat to trust in God and their daily duties.
And so it is for us as we inch into this New Year with our dreads, sorrows and leftover hopes from 2020. However, where we place our trust matters. For sure, I’m hopeful about the vaccine’s efficacy. Sometimes we’re so busy praying for a miracle, we’re oblivious when God delivers one like a shot in the arm.
Well, come 2021, for starters, I hope to be awake. But not to cheer a ball dropping in Times Square but to be fully present now, not distracted by 2020 hindsight, nor anxious about tomorrow. I, like those monks, hang my hope on the Christ of Christmas, God with us. “O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood.” (Psalm 71:5, NLT)
As for 2021 resolutions, for starters, I’ve resolved to never say, “I need some alone time.”
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