Life’s Lessons


Routines, oversights or forgetfulness?

I looked for it for two weeks. Went through every drawer where I could possibly have put it. It was one of those instances where I had put something “away” and then couldn’t remember where “away” was!

I finally asked my roommate if she had accidentally picked it up off the drier and put it with her things. She searched. No, she didn’t have it.

Back to square one – I searched those same drawers again. Even moved some things this time. There! I found the sweatshirt I had been looking for! Safely put away in a drawer – just not the usual drawer.

I know I told you the story of a few years ago when Kelly and I were walking down the hall at bedtime. I had a couple of her dog wafer treats in one hand and a couple of rice cakes in the other. When I put the rice cake in my mouth, I thought, “Gee, they didn’t salt this one at all!” Then reality hit! So, this is what dog treats taste like!

Well, on Sunday mornings, I follow a routine to be sure everything gets done – brush my teeth, do my face and my hair, take care of Kelly’s needs. She has already had her breakfast and heart medications earlier.

Recently, it was about half way through morning worship when I wondered if I had finished doing my hair. Got home. Nope! Hadn’t followed my routine. I did the back of my hair, sprayed it and then forgot to finish the front and top! People were kind enough to either not notice or not say anything.

Well, this past Sunday, I again mixed up the routine. Instead of taking care of my own needs first as usual, I prepared Kelly’s toothbrush first. Wet it under running water, applied her toothpaste and stuck it … in MY MOUTH! I actually started brushing when I suddenly realized this wasn’t my brush and toothpaste!

Kelly didn’t care. She still accepted the brush. I didn’t much care for her toothpaste, but that’s mutual. One time when her breath needed some attention, I brushed her teeth with my minty toothpaste. She didn’t like it any better than I liked hers.

Well, these things happen. They make good laughable stories but perhaps there is a lesson or two – like maybe I should pay more attention to what I’m doing; maybe even THINK sometimes!

No harm done.

But, if I pay so little attention to these routine incidents, I must be careful not to let that carelessness carry over into my spiritual life! Do I forget to pray? Forget to feed on God’s Word? Is the status of my Christian life slipping due to lack of attention on my part?

I was asked in an interview the other day what I do in that realm of life besides preach. You know, I didn’t even think to tell them about this column! Oh, afterward, I thought of it. But it’s such a routine I didn’t think to mention it.

Routines are good, I think, but we must be careful to put some thought into it, too.

Routines, oversights or forgetfulness?