Do you have a routine you love? In our house, Monday is laundry day unless we’ve been on vacation or some other event interferes with that schedule. The word routine feels forced and obligatory, but what about traditions, since we tend to call enjoyable routines traditions?
While I was growing up, many routines/traditions in my family revolved around food. There are certain foods that belong with certain holidays. One of those culinary traditions is a cauliflower, mushroom and cheese dish that is only (and always) served at Thanksgiving. Trust me, it’s heavenly. We depend on these routines and find comfort in them.
Over the years, as new people have joined the family and as others in the family have become more adventurous with food, new recipes have come to the Thanksgiving dinner table. I remember the year my sister-in-law introduced fresh cranberry sauce to our traditional Thanksgiving meal. Who knew it was so much better than the canned variety? We’ve been grateful to her ever since.
Sometimes our routines are wonderful, and sometimes they get changed, either out of necessity or preference. When change comes out of necessity, it can be difficult, especially when we liked the old routine. But sometimes there are unseen opportunities in change.
I love the story of Elijah. After he sealed the heavens, which caused a famine, the Lord sent him to the brook Cherish where ravens brought food to him. After the river dried up, the Lord gave Elijah different instructions for finding food—Elijah was told to visit a widow who would feed him.
I have often wondered if that change in direction was difficult for Elijah. I wonder if I would have struggled to leave the brook (even though dry) and ravens who had sustained me. As often happens to us, Elijah was not only blessed by the widow he visited, but she and her son were blessed as well.
After the widow expressed her concern that she had just enough oil and meal to make one last meal for her family, Elijah told her to have faith and to make some food for him first, and then gave her a wonderful promise: that their food wouldn’t run out until the famine ended.
Because Elijah was willing to make the change the Lord requested of him, he was blessed by having the widow feed him, but the widow and her son were also blessed. Not only did the food last as Elijah said it would, but when the widow’s son died, Elijah prayed, and the widow’s son was risen from the dead.
Perhaps our willingness to accept change is exactly what needs to happen to bless the lives of others. Before I married my husband, I was well established—I owned a home I loved, I had a job I loved, and I had a wonderful support network of family, friends, and colleagues. You could say I was settled and content with my routine. But when my husband and I decided to get married, it was easier for me to sell my home and adjust my work situation to move where he was instead of him moving to me. It was a big change but one I have never regretted for an instant, and (hopefully) I have been a positive influence on my husband and the new friends I’ve made since moving to Casper.
Change can be a blessing for us and for others, as long as we’re willing to make the change in the first place and work to see what God wants us to become through that change.