Friday, May 18, 2007

Ramblings - Dangerous Routines

I'm happy to report that all is well with the Boulter family here in Costa Rica. It has taken seven months, but we are finally starting to get settled-in and it feels more like home everyday. Some of the things that we thought we would never get used to...are now becoming routine.

While walking the other day I realized that I hadn't really noticed the mountains lately. The same mountains I once found breathtaking are now simply there. This got me thinking about other areas of my life, and sadly I've allowed my faith to become a little to routine. I started to draw several comparisons between God and the mountains here. First off they are huge, towering seven thousand feet over the San Jose valley. They are relatively unchanging, each day they are there and look the same. Their appearance may gradually change, but the mountains themselves are the same, and they are beautiful and breathtaking when you take time to notice them.

I think we as people like things to become routine, because routine is predictable, familiar, comfortable, and safe. We embrace routine to the point of trying to make some extraordinary things feel "routine". For example look at many Sunday morning worship services. The service is conducted same place, same time, and many churches have the same "order of worship" each Sunday. On top of that some of us try to park in the same spot and sit in the same seat each Sunday. These things in and of themselves are not bad, and some are necessary. However, the more routine the greater the risk of our worship experience becoming simply going through the motions, rather than encountering the living God. How routine has your prayer life become? Do you use the same words and say the same things? Do you stop and really think about to whom you are praying, and are you awed that He listens and answers back? Well allow me to remind you of the obvious. God that is anything but routine, actually He is the exact opposite of routine. There is nothing normal or routine about Him. He knows everything, He is everywhere, He is timeless, He is infinite, He is uncreated, He is perfect, and on and on. Therefore, we should be terrified, excited, and overwhelmed by His presence in our lives.

In closing I want to thank each of you for your prayers and support. We are so privileged that God allows us to serve Him here in Costa Rica. I would also like to challenge you, as God has me. First, try to recognize the areas we have let your faith and relationship with God become routine or mundane. Second, spend some time listening and reflecting on God. Who He is, and what He is doing in and through you. Third, pray for God's exciting and terrifying presence. Relinquish control and ask Him for the courage to follow him not matter where He may lead.