By Barry Keurulainen
Editor’s Note: This month we bring you a devotion for your group with some questions to process this topic. May God bless your gathering.
“Do it again, Pop! Push me on the swing again, Pop!” I love to hear my granddaughter say those words. Whether it is being pushed on a swing or having the same book read to them again and again, children love repetition. Could it be that children understand the joy of the Father better than adults?
Go back to the beginning of creation. There we find the joy of the Father in repetition. At the end of each day, we hear “It is good!” Could he have created everything in one day? Of course. It seems, however, that he enjoys the repetition of looking out over each day of creation and saying with pleasure, “It is good!” over and over again.
Our Father upholds all things by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3). He does this, in part, by setting the universe in a repetitive pattern. The seasons and days come one after another. The coming of spring is announced by the burst of daffodils. Winter’s entrance is ushered in with honking geese. The sun rises and sets each day, as it did the day before.
We are a people built for repetition. If—out of boredom—we try to replace it, we will miss the opportunity to grow by hearing what he has to speak in the mundane moments of our life. Repetition is a part of the fabric of everyday life. Yet, we are a people who live in a fallen world and have fallen short of his glory.
So here we are—one year of COVID-19! Wearing masks—again. Socially distant—again. Confined to home—again. Deep within, we are like the child in the back seat, asking “Are we there yet?” After a year of our lives being so restricted, so much grows old and dull. We have forgotten how to enjoy repetition. In a fallen world, repetition leads to monotony that feels more like a burden than a blessing.
Could it be, though, that the way through this is to find the beauty and growth in the monotony of our days? Ask any athlete or musician the importance of repetition. Repetition in playing the scales. Repetition for a golfer in putting the ball for hours on end. It is the key to growing. It is the key to building character and enduring hope.
God finds delight in remaining the same. He does not change. He upholds all things in sameness and repetition while presenting us with new mercies each time the sun rises on a new day (Lamentations 3:23). When we shun routine, do we run the risk of missing the surprise of his new mercies in that day?
I admit that, after a while, when I have read the same book again and again or pushed the swing without end, I can grow weary.
Our Father, however, never grows weary of our prayers, our worries, or our confession of repeated sins. His joy is found in our coming to him and saying, “Do it again, Father. Do it again.”
Questions for your group to process:
What are you bored with these days?
Where is the routine of the past year a blessing to your soul? your life? your family?
What are some healthy routines you would like to embrace in your spiritual walk?
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