Patterns matter. Our daily rhythms, and the ideas that shape them, can help us choose to stay near to Jesus. We need to choose to stay near to Jesus.
Ignoring that reality, outsourcing the responsibility for our actions, or letting our daily rhythms be dictated to by the whims of the world are not strong discipleship decisions. If we are attempting to follow Jesus we need strong discipleship decisions to inform our patterns of life.
This is not a statement about personal discipline or contorting ourselves to the rigidity of a behaviour-timetable mandated to us (I’m looking at you, 30 days of prayer and fasting in January). Rather, it is an attempt to rouse a response from our need for an appetite for the ways of Jesus which is the only way our needs are met. We can be so hungry for so many other things. We have to help each other to focus on developing our spiritual appetite for the things of God.
Following Jesus is a radical and pattern changing thing to do.
If the practical application of our patterns for finding and following Jesus have been squashed and squeezed into prepackaged and disconnected conformity for the lie of an easy life, I believe we need to positively disrupt those patterns.
The complexity of the age we occupy can make us selfish. I’m confident you have noticed the world has a lot going on and, therefore, can become overwhelming. To live an economically, environmentally, and emotionally responsible life isn’t quite the same as my personal childhood dream of playing cricket and football forever. To block others out and live a nice life, quietly consuming my way through threescore and ten, not disturbing the neighbours, and keeping my ideas firmly within, and definitely not above, my station is a commendable but misguided aspiration. When I decide to follow Jesus I submit myself to an identity exchange (1 Corinthians 6, Galatians 2, Romans!).
Who I am is established in finding out who Jesus is.