The weather around here is beginning to warm up. I like that. I wore a short sleeved shirt (without a sweater or ANYTHING) outside all day yesterday for the first time in months! There was a little bit of blue in the grey sky and I could actually SEE the sunshine! It was DELIGHTFUL! However, since I live in a “furnace city” it does make me kind of nervous because I know what is coming…
Heat. Disgusting, humid, make-you-wish-you-thought-it-was-cool-to-be-a-nudist kind of heat. I was here for it last summer and they told me it was “mild” weather compared to most years, so I can only imagine what a “normal” or “severe” summer heat feels like. Sigh.
Anyway, for the time being it’s still pretty chilly in the morning. When my alarm first goes off, I turn on the heater and push snooze – sleeping for 10 more minutes while the room heats up. By the time the alarm goes off again, the room is a comfortable temperature and I don’t freeze when I pull off the blankets. My slippers are on the floor next to my bed (because the tile floor is always a cold shock to just waking up feet). With warm feet and a warm room I get up, go to the bathroom, and head straight to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee. I brush my teeth and wash my face. By the time I’m done with that, the coffee is brewed and I go pour myself a cup. I walk back to my room, turn on some music, and I drink my warm cup of coffee as I fix my hair and put on my makeup.
These are routines that make my life more comfortable. If I forget to leave my slippers on the floor or I forget to turn the heater on when I push snooze, getting out of bed is a lot more difficult. If I do not have any coffee to make, staying out of bed is a lot more difficult.
I never really think of myself as a person with routines. But, everyone has SOME routines. I think living in a culture that is not my own makes me cling a little more to these small routines. It gives me a sense of sameness that I often don’t have while going through my days. I love living a life that takes me out of my sameness and throws me into otherness. I want to live this way, but it can be exhausting sometimes. It’s confusing and hard to try to understand otherness: other ways of thinking… other paradigms of living. You never really know what to expect as you move through the day. You learn quickly that you can’t control it. So, you cling to little routines that you can control. They become precious, important little things (even though they’re really NOT).
I guess I’m thinking about all of this because I’m recognizing that there is some value to finding things that help you to stay sane… but I’m also recognizing that it’s important to remember that what we ultimately must cling to is not our little routines of sameness but to Jesus, to the Father. And that even more than I need to build into my life small routines of sameness to keep me sane, I must continually build into my life routines of fixing my eyes on Jesus and focusing on eternal things and not the things of the world, or of my culture – my sameness.