Want an extraordinary year? Start with the ordinary.

I am a creature of habit. So are you. We breath in and out daily routines without even noticing. What do you do when you first wake up? Not what do you want to do, or what you think you should do, but what do you do? Think about it for a moment. That is your routine. What do you do tackle first in your work? How do you engage daily with your family, your co-wokers, and your classmates? That is your routine. Where does God fit in in your daily life? Prayer? Worship? Are these things reserved for Sunday or are there ways you engage day to day? That is your routine. There is usually nothing extraordinary about it. It is…well…routine.

As a new year dawns it is an appropriate time to reflect on what ordinary things you could be doing to make the new year extraordinary. If you are like me there are probably some long-time daily rituals that need evicting. Namely, those things that seem to steal away your time. The daily habits that hijack your best intentions. They are mindless routines that are not helping you live fully invested in the weightier matters. They may not be bad things but they are keeping you from engaging in the best things. And they are shaping you. In her brilliant book, The Liturgy of the Ordinary, Tish Harrison Warren explains further, “We move in patterns that we have set over time, day by day. These habits and practices shape our loves, our desires, and ultimately who we are and what we worship.”

As you enter in to a new year take some time to take a look at your ordinary life. Do an inventory. Are there things you need to get very serious about eliminating from your day in 2018? Look at the ordinary activities that, on the surface, look harmless and insignificant but minute by minute, day by day, they are keeping you from being faithful to the call you have on your life from the Lord. Are your routines helping or hindering you from engaging in eternal things. Do your daily rituals bring value to your relationships? How are your little habits impacting your walk with the Lord?

As 2017 ends, consider the ordinary in your day. Think about the things you may need to remove but also consider the things you may need to get more serious about including. Let this be the year you finish that book, the year you read through the Bible, or the year you pursue with passion a life fully committed to Jesus. Start with the ordinary. That is where you will find what is needed to make 2018 an extraordinary year.

Practical Point

Do you want to make 2018 an extraordinary year? Share this with someone close to you and tell them what you plan to eliminate from your daily routine and what you plan to include. Ask if they would keep you accountable, or even better, join you!

 

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