Life giving routines

I always rather like September. When I was younger this was probably because it is my birthday month, but these days because it’s a month for getting back into routines. Kids back to school, new diary at the ready, a new (and usually short-lived!) sense of order and control. Not unlike January, but with still a lot more light in the day and autumn to look forward to.


I am a routine person – and I know not everyone likes routine. Routines can be dull and too predictable, mind numbing and wearing. We can get into a rut that makes us wonder if we are just running around in a hamster wheel, and going nowhere purposeful. Some routines are bad for us, because we may just continually make the same bad choices or we’re stuck in unhelpful habits regarding diet, exercise, work or relationships.

But good routines can be life giving and life saving. We can all agree of the need for structure and routine when raising kids or having pets. They tend to thrive on positive predictability of getting what they need; sleep, food, learning and play. And as adults it is hugely helpful to have a healthy routine for our own days and weeks: it saves us a lot of stress if we know what is happening and if our routine is balanced and doable.

The Bible in the book of Exodus describes that the Jewish people were told by God to observe a Sabbath, a day of rest each week. This was to apply to everyone, servants and animals included. It structured their week and helped them remember who they were (no longer slaves in Egypt who didn’t get a break ever!). Christians have different views on whether Sabbath keeping is still a requirement for them, but however you look at that, it is good to remember that God invites us into life giving routines. Regular rest and a time to let go and remember who we are. Time to come off the hamster wheel and remember that our life has purpose.

So as you get back to your September routines I hope that they will be life giving for you!


Rev Hanneke Marshall

Minister of St Machar’s Ranfurly Church, Bridge of Weir.


01505 612975

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