I have a routine in the mornings that works for me and if I don't stick to it, I find myself anxious, harried, and out of sorts.
If I get up at 5:00AM (give or take one snooze request to my Amazon Alexa device), get coffee by 5:20AM drink 20 oz of water mixed with a supplement, then am sitting at my computer by 5:40AM... I have a pretty good chance of having a really productive morning.
If not, then the wheels can come off pretty quickly---at least in my mind. I don't like disruptions because it gets me off of my internal timetable, and wrests control away from me.
But more often than not, when I surrender to the moment everything changes. When I make the conscious decision to let go of my timetable, and my need to control, I often discover new things that I would have never had the mindset to discover otherwise.
I was listening to a podcast yesterday with a Christian author and speaker, who was commenting on the various crises we are facing as a society.
He used a term to describe what we're going through---a term that I've been thinking about ever since. He called it "The Great Disruption."
It's not hard to see why that term fits so well. Everything has been disrupted. Every facet of our lives has had to change as a result of COVID-19.
We've all seen the countless videos of virtual graduations, Zoom weddings, grandparents peering through windows at newborn grandchildren... The list of disruptions is nearly endless.
And then as if we weren't being disrupted enough by the coronavirus, our country was thrown into turmoil and further disrupted as we all faced a serious confrontation with centuries of racial injustice in America.
These disruptions have wrested control away from us, without a doubt. They have taken us out of our comfort zones. But there is grace in the midst of all of this, and there is an opportunity for growth.
Fr. Richard Rohr wrote about this very thing in his excellent book Just This:
Most of us just repeat the same routines every day and we’re upset if there are any interruptions to our patterns. Yet God is invariably and mercifully in the interruptions, the discontinuities, the exceptions, the surprises—and seldom in the patterns. God has to literally catch us “off guard.”If you think about it, almost every major moment where God enters into history throughout the Bible is a moment of disruption---especially for the people who are being called to step forward into the new thing God is doing.
We are in a moment of great interruption, discontinuity, exceptions, and disruption. Our routines are being remade and refashioned. But as much as it pains us, this is also a moment of great growth and new life.
Perhaps instead of trying to control it all, we should surrender to the truth of the moment and do our very best to be still enough to know God in the midst of it.
Disruptions tell us more about who we are and what we believe than any routine we might have held dear.
May you find peace and stillness in the middle of the chaos around you. May you surrender your outcomes and your desire for control and discover new ways of knowing and being that are life-giving and hope-filled.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.