You just do the best that you can.
As you do that, though, something in the back of your head tells you, you can take things for granted. Look at the routine.
On the week-days: Waking up, getting out of bed, having a shower, brushing the teeth, getting into the clothes for the day, having breakfast, getting to work, doing the work, having a break, doing more work, having lunch, doing more work, finishing work, getting home, spending time with the family, doing the other responsibilities, snatching some time to chill and gettng to sleep.
On the weekends: Waking up later (hopefully) doing the usual morning stuff, doing the domestics, seeing who can be contacted, doing the religious thing for the week, ensuring all the shopping for the week is done, ensuring everything is set for the week ahead including supporting the children with homework, maybe a little treat for the family on occasion.
The routine is set and observed day in and day out, week in and week out. You, as a believer, will, by obligation, see where they can fit in things like the praying and the Bible reading, but it’s about where that fits into the rest of life. So Bible reading when it’s done isn’t done with that great a degree of study and meditation. Prayer takes conversing with God as though He’s a combination of Google and Amazon – a search engine and the source to get goods needed for the every day life.
Sometimes you can feel a twinge of angst when the super spiritual types talk about what they got from reading scripture or what came to them when they prayed. Sometimes there can be an issue that a preacher brings up that can make things a little uncomfortable. But after a while you reassure yourself, you’re only human, you can only do so much, there are only so many hours in a day. You do your best, you don’t go out of your way to hurt anyone, you do the right thing more often than not – there’s no point in living with a guilty conscience because you’re not as good as that super spiritual preacher who after all is paid and has a title where he can spend all day being super spiritual.
You just do the best that you can.
You’re doing the best that you as you go through the motions.
Even in what appears to be a set routine of life, however, there can be a different approach to slowly and surely change the approach from doing the best that you can in going through the motions to relying on the life of Christ in you to grow through the motions.
It’s where the believing in God and nodding your head at the teachings of Jesus, turns into appreciating what it is to be a follower of Jesus and allowing Him to shape your approach to the new day provided.
It’s appreciating that prayer is still about making requests to God, but not just making them about how He can help you pay the bills and deal with that annoying colleague at work. It can look at how Jesus the servant enables you to use opportunities to serve others and see how you can be a blessing in their lives by relying on the life you have in Him by His Spirit.
It’s about those setbacks and those disappointments. It’s about catching yourself slipping back into bad habits as your coping mechanism when things get tough. It’s about learning from Jesus in those times as you’re surrounded by saints who are keen to support you by example and in godly counsel. It’s about being sensitive than ever before to your growing need for the life of Christ even as you learn to live for Him by Him in that list of regular things you have on your schedule. It’s even about those interesting steps of faith that sees you disrupt that routine from time to time to do something relatively unorthodox for you, but a good chance to use what God has given you to be a blessing and serving in a different way.
All the way through that you grow to be thankful for what has done and is doing in your life, you grow and learn, you learn and grow. Step by step. In so doing it’s no longer about occasional guilty conscience experiences. It’s not about going through the motions – it’s about growing through the motions.
At that stage, it is significantly different to just doing the best that you can …
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden