day 251: Patterns

Within Purposed worKING, we have discussed before the importance of routines and predictability and how these can affect others and the perceptions of each of us as we try to live and work with purpose. Patterns are all around us and we work within these patterns each day. I think about one pattern that we each likely count on each and every day. Each time we power up the computer in front of us, we depend on those who have created the operating system to provide a predictable and consistent experience so that the machine powers up in a way that every program, process and application starts the same way each time. Yet, as humans, we are so unpredictable. We start the day, work throughout the day, and end the day in ways that are different, or close to different throughout the days of the week. And then we wonder why those around us become curious, and sometimes frustrated, that they can’t count on us to be the same with each of them so that they can know when to expect or or predict with some certainty what we will do next. Why is this so important? Most of us operate at our best when are we within environments that are comfortable and expected. We get anxious, tense, and worried when the ground beneath us is unstable. We also all live our lives in a busy time where daily there is more on our plate than we can handle, so we need to be able to look out in front of us to plan and anticipate what is next. I was struck by a verse that I read recently in the book of Mark. In Chapter 6 of Mark we hear of story of how Jesus was received and treated in his hometown. But the verse I found most interesting was the 6th verse of Chapter 6 when Jesus was leaving and Mark writes of Jesus departing to go teach from village to village. The New Kings James Version says; “Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.” He didn’t go randomly. He went on a circuit, which would mean that those who saw Him teach before, or who missed Him on His last visit, could expect to see Him again and again. As people began to get to to know Jesus He allowed them to do so in a way that they could predict when and where He would be next. With this pattern had to have come some level of comfort in the knowledge that He would return to be with them again. As we think about today and the pattern that we use in our work, are we creating a circuit or a routine that others can expect from us? Are we being predictable in the responses and the outcomes of how they approach us? Have we begun this day in our own pattern of time with Him before we start the day with others? Today would be a good day to reevaluate our patterns to be sure that we are doing all we can to be accessible and comforting to those around us. If our patterns are not the ones we like, then there is no better today than today to start making changes.

Reference: Mark 6:6 (New King James Version)

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