Routine is Essential for Vibrant Health | February 11th, 2022
A few days of freezing temps and ice on the roads kept many of us homebound last week. I was grateful the “staycation” did not continue as long as the one we experienced last February which included a horrific electric grid failure for many Texans.
Having no structure in my schedule, even for just a few days, got me thinking about the importance of routine to maintain vibrant physical and spiritual health.
There are many benefits to keeping a daily routine. Without it, the day starts out like a mixed up, jumbled mess of scrabble letters on the table. They don’t make any sense without the effort needed to put them into words. Routine takes effort and is essential for order to create healthy habits and reduce the stress that is simply a part of everyday life.
Many of us have packed schedules from the moment we wake up until our head hits the pillow. Setting aside time for our physical health is important so we don’t get run down or sick, forcing us to pay attention to it.
Scheduling a daily walk to move our body while getting fresh air and sunshine is one of the best ways to build up the immune system while strengthening our heart and lungs. Exercise is also a huge mood booster and gets our creative juices flowing.
I seem to get my best ideas when I am in the swimming pool. My blood is pumping and the quiet all around me allows for thinking clearly and creatively. Studies have found even short amounts of exercise (30 minutes) are able to produce longer periods of greater creative thought lasting for up to two hours afterward.
Sleep is vital for physical health, so following a daily bedtime routine is also helpful as our brain learns to release the sleep hormone melatonin every night at the same time, a couple of hours before going to bed. Our body will also release the stimulant hormone cortisol two hours before our regular wake-up time, helping us feel ready to get up and go once we open our eyes.
In addition to a routine for exercise and sleep, healthy eating is also a necessary part of our routine to feel our best. If we take the time each week to stock up on nutritious food, it will reduce the stress of having to make decisions about what to eat. Research shows we have a limited amount of willpower. There are non-routine issues that will come up throughout the day requiring us to use our willpower, so the less we have to expend on debating whether or not we’re going to eat healthy, the easier it will be to make a good decision.
We can do all the cardio, lift all the weights, and drink all the kale smoothies, but if we don’t do anything in our routine to strengthen our spiritual health, life will feel empty and void of significance. God is the One who leads and guides us, mysteriously working even in the dullest details of our daily routine.
Perhaps you can connect with these short excerpts from Spiritual Classics by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin…
I should like to bring the routine of my daily life before You, O Lord, to discuss the long days and tedious hours that are filled with everything else but You.
When it stands before You and Your infallible Truthfulness, doesn’t my soul look just like a market place where the second-hand dealers from all corners of the globe have assembled to sell the shabby riches of this world? Isn’t it just like a noisy bazaar, where I and the rest of mankind display our cheap trinkets to the restless, milling crowds?
How vital it is to make our first appointment with God! He calms our spirit and reminds us of who we are in Him, full of purpose for His glory and not just here to live a meaningless life in the midst of a “noisy bazaar.” We can use that time with Him to express gratitude for His many blessings and take all of our needs to Him along with any upcoming stressors, known and unknown, so we can confidently face the day.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8
Find a quiet place, removing the noise and distractions around you. After spending some time in prayer, when God has intently listened to you, take time to listen to Him by reading His Word. He has much to share with you to help you with the lifelong process of becoming beautifully transformed into His image.
What a difference even 15 minutes a day spent in His living and active Word will make in your life. Once it becomes a part of your daily routine, you won’t be able to start your day without it!
Here are a few of the benefits reading God’s Word provides for me…
It encourages me through the stories written of God’s power and might. He was and still is in control of the big things happening on the world stage as well as all of the seemingly less significant things going on in my own life. I have no reason to worry or fear and can be completely at peace giving all of my burdens to Him.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. Psalm 147:5
It reminds me of His unwavering love for me, strengthening my personal relationship with Him. When I accept His love, it provides healing, transformation, freedom, grace, and purpose to my life. It also reminds me where my heart should be – not loving the things the world offers, but passionately loving the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 22:22-23
It teaches me how to have godly wisdom and discernment to know how to sift through all of the deception I may come up against in my day and to be able to distinguish the voice of the world from the voice of God.
“Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right.” – Charles Spurgeon
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5
Following a regular routine is a healthy practice for vibrant physical and spiritual health. By all means, take the walks, eat your veggies, and sleep deeply, but be sure to begin each morning with the healthiest practice of all…bringing the routine of your daily life before the Lord for His perfect guidance and blessing.
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