Changes in Routine

Cover for Called Along the Way
Art by Stephen W. Hiemstra

So I went to the angel and told him to give me
the little scroll. And he said to me,
Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter,
but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.
(Rev 10:9)

Changes in Routine

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Between February 1984 and May 2007, I kept a journal in which I wrote in episodically recording major life events. On October 4, 2000, for example, I recorded the death of my grandfather, Frank Hiemstra and the next event, May 13, 2003, I recorded that my son, Stephen Reza, had given his life to Christ. This pattern of journeying persisted for many years.

Saturday Worship

In 2006, CPC Pastor Neil Craigan experimented with a Saturday evening service focused on church workers, who seldom got a moment’s peace on Sunday mornings. The service began around 5:30 p.m. when coffee was served, he pulled up a stool and began talking. The Hiemstra family attended this service weekly, but it never caught on with the rest of the congregation and eventually it was dropped.

My morning routine began to evolve in 2007 after I read a book—Eugene Peterson’s Eat This Book—that Pastor Neil Craigan had thrown to me during one of these Saturday services the previous fall.

Eat this Book

The book was an eye-opener. Among other things, it outlined the spiritual practice of “Lectio Divina” and the connection of the title to Revelation 10:9, cited above. Studying this book and others, I became convinced of the need to have daily devotions taking advantage of a series of spiritual practices, including journeying, Bible study, and prayer.

On May 4th, 2007, my journeying pattern changed as I noted in my journal:

In the New Year, I began Hebrew class as the Jewish Community Center. The class ran ten weeks. My goal was to learn to read the Hebrew alphabet so that I could study further on my own [as I had for Greek since 2004]. In mid-March, I then began reading Genesis [in Hebrew]. While Hebrew is entirely new to me, for a long while I had a strange sense of deja vue about the language.

The pattern changed because I began journeying more frequently and by July 15th I had started journeying daily. This became possible because I started getting up a half hour earlier before work at 4 a.m. to establish a new routine of morning devotions and praying the hours as best I could. This routine quickly morphed into praying continuously throughout the day.


Also see:  Looking Back 

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