Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

Resisting Structure

Sticking to a routine and a list of daily habits is much easier to do when I have momentum. Building up that momentum over a series of weeks propels me to continued success. Ideally, that routine and those habits are all oriented to completing the things that I want to accomplish. They’re guardrails that keep me heading to my goals. When I fall out of that routine, it’s remarkable just how hard it is to get back into the swing of things.

I have a plan for my ideal week. In that plan, there’s sufficient time budgeted for me to work on everything that I want to work on. There’s time for exercise, prayer, leisure, work, and play. If I stick to the schedule, I will lay my head down at night having completed work in every area of my life that’s important to me.

Lately, I’ve been out of that routine. My sleep schedule has adapted to sleeping in each day, sacrificing a much needed 90 minutes of personal time in the morning. That means I wake up and have to start my day with the kids cold, without the benefit of my typical start-up. Getting off on the wrong foot sends me down the wrong path for my whole day. By the evening, instead of reading and meditating before bed, I watch TV and go to bed late. Of course, with no winding down period, my body isn’t ready for sleep. It takes me forever to fall asleep. Repeat.

The strange thing is, when I’m off my routine, I resist going back on. It feels like my routine is going to restrict or suffocate me, when in reality, it’s going to set me free. One day, after several false starts, something clicks, and I’m back into it.

My resistance to structure is the same as my resistance to God’s plan for my life. His rules, from the outside, feel constricting. In reality, they’re offering me freedom. We heard on Good Shepherd Sunday that God is the walls of the sheepfold. He isn’t keeping us in, He’s keeping us safe from everything that’s trying to attack us. Within the confines of His rules, we’re free to be who we are, without worry.

At all times, especially in uncertain times, structure in my day brings me great relief. I need to keep this in mind on those days that I feel like slacking off.