Back to the Delightful Ordinary

By Debbi Jo Dieter

I need routine.

The few weeks right around Christmas are usually a stark contrast from my normal routine. Kids are home from school, work schedules are different, and even my eating patterns are not the same. Therefore, I get a little off balance.

After the Christmas hustle and bustle is over, I am usually glad to return to routine. This year, in my heart, I heard this phrase, “back to the delightful ordinary.” This made me feel good – made me feel glad to embrace the regular routines of life, which could otherwise be called, “the same old thing.”

C.S. Lewis, in his book, The Screwtape Letters, had this to say about “the Same Old Thing”: (Remember as you read this that Uncle Screwtape, a demon, is advising his demon nephew on how to tempt humans.)

The horror of the Same Old Thing is one of the most valuable passions we have produced in the human heart – an endless source of heresies in religion, folly in counsel, infidelity in marriage, and inconstancy in friendship.

Lewis goes on to talk about how God, the enemy of the demons, has created seasons for us as a gift, “each season different yet every year the same.” Good words to remember as we continue into the cold and dark part of winter.

I am happy to go back to the ordinary and let it be delightful. Being grounded in routine gives me the freedom to bounce out of it at times. Being stuck in routine leads to legalism and death.

For me, to appreciate the routine has become one of my January gifts.