Rote Aimless Wandering …… #intentional

Rote Aimless Wandering …… #intentional

Bed at 9pm
Alarm goes off at 5am
Second Alarm at 5:03am
Third Alarm at 5:10am
Roll out of bed
Work out clothes on
Coffee made
Sit on the couch next to my husband and watch the news till he leaves
Head to my office and read my Bible
Eldest Boy wakes up and eats breakfast
Youngest Boy wakes up, eats, talks, practices flute
The day is off and running.

Do this.
Do that.
Eldest Son home from school.
Husband home from work.
Youngest home from school.



It didn’t take me long to tell you my schedule for the day. The “do this and do that” changes each day but not a whole lot. I like routine. My kids do better with routine. They do so well with routine that sometimes I switch things up just to challenge them and help them see life is not going to always go as they plan. We discussed having the view of our day be an anxious anticipation of the future, where we are worrying about the future and it impedes our ability to walk through our days as God would want. Today I want to look at Rote Aimless Wandering.

The example I used of my schedule during the week has the set up to be one in which I walk through the day simply doing the schedule. When I simply walk through my day – aimless, rotely going through the motions when I get to the end of the day and reflect what do I see? I usually see a lot of wasted time. I don’t often see steps made towards any of my goals. At the end of the day I simply made it through the day. Its a check mark off the calendar.

  • Routine does not equal Rote
  • Purpose does not equal Aimless
  • Journey is not the same as Wandering

I easily without thought can and do interchange these words to mean the same thing but they don’t. We will look at routine, purpose, and journey more specifically when we explore the last view. Lets take a look at rote, aimless and wandering.

When you see the word ROTE what is the first thing that comes to mind? For me it is arithmetic facts. Two plus two is four, and two times two is four. Things that we have memorized ROTE. We don’t use it all the time. Yet it is stored away in a part of our brain that can retrieve the information when needed.

The definition of rote is the memorization of things without taking the time to understand or comprehend what it is about. Simply you learn the information to learn it not to stop and understand it. We do that in our days. We rotely do things – we don’t stop and necessarily think about WHY we are doing them, we simply do them.

“If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time. “ – Zig Ziglar

Aimless. Without aim. No purpose. No intention. No direction. Not a very fulfilling day. Aimless is not the same as relaxing and choosing to do nothing. Relaxing is a choice to make sure that you are refreshed and renewed. You have taken the time to take care of yourself so that you are ready to continue on with all that is in front of you. A good example of aimless is sitting in front of the computer and having no specific purpose or thought, you simply are there and looking at things. When you are finished you wonder what the point was of all the time you just spent in front of the computer.

Wandering. I hear this word and I think of the children of Israel and the 40 years in the wilderness. The other word picture that comes to mind is what it emotionally feels like when we are not walking with Jesus. Aimlessly wandering. No purpose and no specific destination in mind.

Recently I was struggling with both of these views. As I was pausing and seeking direction for this year, I found it hard at times to move forward. I would look at the day and go what was the purpose of what I just did – I wasted time there, or I cann’t decide how to uses this hour of time I have. The chores are done. Dinner is cooking. The boys are quiet. My husband is not home from work. I have time. I have things I would like to accomplish. I want to write. I want to learn. What I would find myself doing is looking on Facebook or checking e-mail. Mind you NOTHING had changed in the two minutes since I had last checked it. I was struggling with purpose, struggling to use my time as I should. What I noticed when I was in this rut was that my perspective of my day and what role God had for me was off balanced. I had a bad perspective of me. Our view. Our perspective impacts our ability to serve, to love, to connect with those around us. It impacts our ability to maximize effectively and intentionally the time that God has allotted in our days. It is easy to confusing obeying God with doing something the world sees and awes over. Yet God doesn’t ask me to go save the world and proclaim that on the evening news. He wants me to be me, to love him with all I am and to walk with Him.


“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17

Routine does not equal Rote

Purpose does not equal Aimless

Journey is not the same as Wandering


1828 Websters Dictionary
New King James Version Bible, Copyright 1996 Holman Bible Publishers and 1982 Thomas Nelson

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