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The Village Smith 12/11

by Pat Smith on December 11, 2020

Same
I love it when something new comes along, and oh, my goodness, do I love routine. Can it really be true that I can appreciate both so much? All I can say is, it is. What about for you?
In a conversation earlier this week, one in which I had the privilege of getting to know someone for the first time, I mentioned that I’m the kind of person who believes something meaningful is always just up ahead or just around the next corner. I also know, full well, that routine gives me a sense of deep comfort and peace.
Kate Murphy is a Houston-based journalist and author (her book, You’re Not Listening, has been nominated for a 2020 Goodreads Choice Award and is on my “will read” list). In a recent article she notes that the reason routine is so important is it makes our “world more predictable, orderly and safe.” It’s this last benefit that proves vital. As Ms. Murphy points out, our brains learn with repetition, the kind that teaches us, “Keep doing what you’ve been doing, because you did it before, and you didn’t die.” Routine can serve as a balm in the midst of all that could trouble or threaten us. 
Advent is routine. It comes around every year right in the midst of real life, and we can tend to minimize it. We shouldn’t. It’s a 2,000-years-in-a-row story that provides the beautiful, restful normalcy we need. We get to be assured every year that God is coming to be with us again, right here with us, right there with you and right here with me. This is the most amazing story, the same every year! Can we take this moment to acknowledge this? Really. Right now. “Thank you, God, for the wondrous sameness of your love and care for me and for us all, a sameness that offers deep peace for everyone. Oh, how we need it! Come quickly again, Lord Jesus. Amen.”
It’s good to be in touch in these remote days,
Pat

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