Friday, June 29, 2007

Habits

Our lives are really the sum of a bunch of different habits. It's those things that we do over and over again that give our lives meaning, stability, structure and manageability.

I've been thinking about habits lately. Maybe it's because I changed my morning routine a few months back. I used to get up, take a shower, drink coffee and have my quiet time, eat breakfast and then go on to the rest of my day. Well, I'm getting up a bit earlier now to make sure I have enough time alone with God before my boys wake up (they never sleep past 7 or 7:30, and are frequently up before 7). With this earlier wake up call I've changed from showering first to drinking coffee and spending time alone with God first. It's been a great change. I really enjoy it (I know you're thrilled to know my morning routine, but hang in there, I'm going somewhere with this.)

The problem is that sometimes, if I have to be somewhere early, I have to revert back to my previous routine. This small change in my morning habits always throws me for a loop.

I know what you're thinking, "Man, Jonathan's a loser!" While that might be true to some degree (I was #1 on my tennis team in high school and never won one match), you try switching things up for a minute and see how you're left feeling. Here are some ideas:
  • Change the way you drink your coffee.
  • Rearrange your bedtime routine.
  • Order something different at your favorite restaurant.
  • Get a pizza with toppings you've never had.
The list could go on and on. So what is my point? If our lives are really the sum total of various habits I think it would be profitable to take an inventory of those habits to see which ones are beneficial and which ones we could do without.

Take for instance: Do you have the habit of spending time with God on a regular basis? If not, why not? If you're a Christ follower then I would definitely ask, "Why not?" Then, if you do have that habit, are you making the most of it. I switched my morning routine to maximize my time alone with God. I'd recommend, I'd beg, I'd plead, do whatever you need to do to prioritize your relationship with God.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Just in case you're wondering, there's no way I'm changing the way I fix my coffee. Why mess with perfection?

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