Since I have become a dad, my life has completely changed. I love my daughter Ellie VERY much, but the one thing I will say is the girl just doesn't like sleep. No matter what we try, it doesn't seem to matter. At 9 months old, Ellie still gets up around 2-3 times a night.
I've realized and come to terms with the fact that sleep is a friend I will never have again. So long sleep longer than 5 hours. It was nice knowing you!
Every book, doctor and parent we consult with have different ideas and tricks. Trust me we've tried them all. But, the common phrase and insight we hear that we really try to do is establish a routine and stick to it.
Our night time routine is the same every day. Playtime until 5:45pm. Food at 6pm. Bath at 6:30pm. Book and a bottle follow bathtime. Sleep (hopefully) by 7pm. We do it Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night, etc. You get the picture.
My life has become routine. And in some ways it's nice. But in other ways, I've lost that spontaneity. That sense of possibility. That spark.
Now, I'm not saying routines are bad. Nor am I saying my life has become boring or dull. The opposite is true. My life is more full and enjoyable than ever. I love my daughter and raising her with my beautiful wife. But, what I do know is I never want to lose my spontaneous, energetic, creative spirit.
Having a child means I have to say "no" to some things; however, it doesn't mean I stop living. It doesn't mean I become a "no" person where my routine runs my life. Routine is part of my life but it doesn't run my life.
I think sometimes the Church can forget that. Some in our churches have become "no" people. The Church has been a certain way for so long that we forget it can be any different. Anything new is squashed. Anything outside the norm is put out. Anything outside the routine is shut down.
When Church becomes about routine and about motions, I think we can get stuck. As Church, we don't get rid of routine or ritual, because it is comforting for many of us. Me included. It's similar to how I approach routines as a parent. I don't get rid of routines with my daughter. They are healthy and structure is good for her. But, my life isn't run by my routines. The same is true in the Church. We don't have to let routines run our church and our lives as disciples.
I pray our Church can be a place where we say "yes" more than we say "no." Where we carve out space for new ideas. Where we welcome new people. Where we join with the new ways God is speaking and moving in our community.
As people of God, we say "yes" to our Redeemer rather than routines. We let Christ--not schedules--run our lives.
Thank you for all you do in the name of our Risen Redeemer!