During in-between times it is sometimes helpful to revert to the familiar. As the followers of Jesus, men and women, tried to get their minds around what the future would look like, as they gathered in community and as they prayed, Peter took the lead with about 120 people present (Acts 1:15). He suggested that since there had originally been 12 disciples but Judas had hung himself after his betrayal that the next step was to choose someone to take his place from among the people who had followed Jesus from the beginning. Mathias was chosen. Staying with familiar patterns while we wait for the next phase provides stability and predictability.
One morning as my oldest son was leaving for school while we were in the States, he asked, “Why don’t you cook any more, Mom?” I was surprised for I fixed three meals a day. His response was that I no longer made the coffee cake I always made on Sunday morning when the children were home on school breaks. We have certain “traditions” that provide rhythm to our family. We say a family prayer we know at meals. We do evening devotions and “pray around the world”, or at least around the room on Sunday evenings. A simple “thank you” for one thing during the week was sufficient. There are traditional foods for holidays, perhaps a personal stocking for Christmas, and also certain songs I associate with singing the kids to sleep as infants. Traditions provide a backbone during times of change. A basketball team with only four players just isn’t right so if one is out, a sub is sent in. I love Tevy’s comment at the beginning of Fiddler on the Roof. “What keeps the fiddler from falling off the roof? he asks. Traditions. Traditions tell us who we are and what God expects of us!
What traditions give structure to your life? When our five children, twins at the end, were young, I was overwhelmed and had no time for spiritual disciplines like reading the Bible. Just keeping up with diapers and meals in the “bush” was full time work. We started the habit of my husband reading a passage of scripture to me while I nursed the twins. Then it became while I worked on knitting. Now we start the day with reading and he still reads to me. Spiritual disciples are those habits that provide a predictable rhythm to our lives and provide a foundation for our souls. I would suggest you take a moment to reflect on the disciplines you have. Perhaps there are ones that you may have become sloppy about, or ask yourself if there is a discipline you would like to add. Life just was not right for the disciples without that twelfth person. Traditions help us keep a steady course into the future God is about to reveal. Blessings!