Just as the hand, held before the eye, can hide the tallest mountain, so can the routine of everyday life keep us from seeing the vast radiance and the secret wonders that fill the world. [Chasidic saying, 18th Century]
Each day, we are charged with the task of “living life”. We know that routines are part of that daily ritual, but without even realizing, they can become familiar and comfortable. There are even those who seem to find security in predictability. It’s true that routines can seem to bring some measure of order to life which can otherwise feel disorderly. Like most things, they provide advantages and disadvantages. A routine is beneficial as long as it serves you, and not so good when it “rules you”. They may even feel so familiar and convenient that we may overlook opportunities to see the vast radiance of life.
Routines are about what one needs to accomplish (we call this keva-fixed). Daily life is about how we live that life, and have the potential to be (we call this kavannah – intention). We were not created to be creatures of mindless habit. Rather, we are here for wondrous purpose. In Jeremiah, we learn: “For I know the plans I have for you ... to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11). While being diligent and disciplined today, let us savor the joy, learn the discipline of our routines, and avoid the ruts.
Over the past year, what are those fixed routines in your life that have left you uninspired? How can you enhance those routines and find the wonder and radiance in that which we call life?