Every day is a new day though we may be going through the same routine day after day, month after month and year after year. Get up, get dressed, eat, do housework, go to work, meet others’ expectations and deadlines, catch the train or the bus to get back home, and finally, go to bed.
These are some of the things most of us do without having to consciously think about doing them, thanks to our brain’s auto-pilot mode. Not only do we tend to take these routine tasks for granted, but we also tend to see them as boring or unexciting until the day we realise we can no longer perform them with ease, if at all.
Let’s be honest, we all get tired or bored of going through the same motions every single day. But having a healthy routine is beneficial to our well-being. So how do we approach routine tasks with a fresh approach?
Jesus implicitly answers this question in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Hear me now. When God’s kingdom and His righteousness become the lenses through which we approach each day, each task, and each person, we no longer need a fresh dose of man-made potion or a mantra for an extra boost. We no longer need to conjure up a halo of excitement around everything we do, trying to persuade ourselves that we feel great. We don’t need to because God has already added some unique seasoning to our menu of routine tasks to give them meaning and purpose.
Seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness is a safeguard against taking ourselves and others for granted, thus devaluing who we are. It is also a safeguard against manufacturing our self-worth through our personal accomplishments at home, at work or in the community. And it is a safeguard against anxiety, worries, discouragement, disappointments, envy, frustrations, an inflated ego, feelings of worthlessness, and fear.
It is through the daily mundane tasks that God seeks to elevate us from the temporal to the spiritual. Our daily rituals are appointed instruments He uses to reproduce His character within us. “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men”, urges the apostle Paul in Colossians 3:23.
So, remember that every routine task is a brand-new opportunity offered to us by an omniscient God who desires us to enter a loving and trusting relationship with Him. Hence, seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness cannot be left to our brain’s auto-pilot function. For to be in relationship - to be in a sanctifying relationship, I should say - requires intentionality, total surrender and commitment. It is a heart thing.
It is only when we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, that we will get the right perspective and put the highest value on what truly matters. It is only then, that the ordinary becomes extraordinary, the routine becomes exciting, and true meaning and purpose are discovered and, in the process, we develop a Christlike character.
We are free to operate outside of this divine framework. If we choose to, we need to understand that we are on our own. The battles are ours, so the defeats and the pain will be too.
Living by the principle of God’s kingdom and His righteousness is both imperative and urgent. It is our ozone layer, our shield, and our protective gear. Moreover, when we get the protective gear, extra bonuses such as peace, joy, and hope are poured in.
So, before you go through your daily routine today, even your daily routine prayers, be intentional. Spend a moment in quiet solitude with God, enjoy His presence and let the principles of His kingdom and His righteousness guide your choices and decisions.