doing the same thing (day after day)

Life does call for some changes at times, and there are seasons of rest, relaxation and recreation, or at least spots of that in the summer on vacations. But by and large life consists of everyday things, doing much the same thing day after day. The escape of course is weekends, when you can at least do something different, even if you are still busy.

It has been said that the reason the Beatles were so good when they were discovered at least outside of Great Britain is that they had played music together, and played and played again (some 1,200 live performances). And by the time they reached arguably their creative peak, they had likely practiced for 10,000 hours which is said to be the amount of time needed for one to master their craft.

I think there’s a lot of strength in the same liturgy Sunday after Sunday in church. Every church does have its liturgy, even if that consists primarily only in the songs and hymns which are sung, but I refer here to churches which are liturgically oriented, whose service is scripted in accordance with and from scripture as well as tradition. And I also think there’s strength in doing the same thing day after day. For some it’s to do the morning and evening reading from the Book of Common Prayer. I think this can be a great benefit and I would like to do that someday myself. For others of us it is to regularly be in the word of God and prayer. What we do shapes us and in a way what we do is what we become. If we sit and take in inane entertainment day after day, we might even get good at it, but that is what we become in some way, shape or form.

I am a believer in doing the same things day after day, year after year, perhaps making some helpful modifications along the way, but doing those things regardless of how we feel or what our circumstances are. And for me, going through scripture, both the Old and New Testaments both through reading and meditation are essentials. From that practice I pray. And more and more I appreciate tradition and prayers of the church.

Many in the evangelical tradition have their “personal devotions.” A quiet time with the Lord every day, usually the morning or whenever it suits or works best for someone. It is vitally important that what we do in terms of the faith is centered on God himself, and God’s will for us in Jesus by the Spirit. Such a practice should never replace the reading of all of scripture. . We need to read and keep reading and then read again. We have to work at not drifting away from this on weekends or during vacations, when we are free from our everyday routines, the things we have to do. We have to figure out how we can carry on during those times, perhaps in a modified form.

That is who we are and why we keep doing those things. From the fact that we became that in large part from doing them regularly in the first place. All in the grace of our God in and through Jesus.

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