New Routines in the Wilderness
“In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.” - Exodus 16:13
When the Israelites were in the wilderness, everything was different. They were used to a settled life, but in the wilderness they lived a nomadic life. As time went on, they learned to adjust to new rhythms and routines. In Egypt, they had access to food and knew where it was coming from. In the wilderness, they had neither. But, God helped them. God gave them both a routine and sustenance by sending manna in the morning and quail at night. God also gave them the gift of a sabbath rest by sending double the quail and manna on the sixth day of each week. A day of rest was new for them, since they had previously lived a life of slavery. When they reached their destination, they kept the sabbath rest, even though many of their wilderness routines were no longer needed.
Many of us are adjusting to new rhythms and routines as the academic year begins during this pandemic. It feels like a wilderness because much that we relied on in past Septembers is no longer relevant, available, or applicable in September 2020. But even in the midst of this wilderness, God is guiding us to new routines and giving us what we need to thrive. A new routine in my life prompted by the pandemic revolves around worship leading. The deadline for videos is Thursday so I now write my sermon on Wednesday (I used to write it on Friday). Even when making videos is no longer necessary, I anticipate keeping the new routine of writing my sermons on Wednesdays: it gives me more time to edit before preaching. While the wilderness can be unsettling, God is our strong rock, providing what we need to get through it: new routines and just what we need to thrive.
Grace and peace,