You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me

I am a creature of habit. Once I start something-- almost anything--it is hard for me to quit.
This journal, for example. You just see one entry a week, on Tuesday, but I write every day, and have done so my entire adult life. By now it is a complete record of my life and ministry since age 19.

"Take Five" is something I write for my Facebook friends every Friday. Five things that are on my mind. I started it six and one-half years ago and have only missed a couple of times since. I'm trying to be helpful.

In every local restaurant that I frequent, I order the same thing I ordered my first time there. Menus are not handed out when they see it is me, the servers just bring me my food and then we chat. I eat my meals a little earlier than most so that there's the opportunity to do that.
Let's just say that I'm...predictable. Consistent. Maybe a bit obsessive compulsive. Audrey says she likes that about me. Good evidence that I'm going to be around if and when the going gets tough.

I do start new habits, though. It's not like I am stuck in the past-- completely. A new restaurant for lunch occasionally. New friends. A new card game, if the rules aren't too complicated. I came to social media a little late, after all, but I'm all in now.

Some habits can be less than the best, of course. I have a few of those, too, but this journal of mine is not a confessional. So let's just maintain a little mystery between us about those. I can break them, and so can you, if we really want to. Nothing is unbeatable. But it takes self-awareness, repentance, the Holy Spirit within and His power at work (Romans 8:15), as well as the help of friends and accountability partners. Sometimes, in the case of an addiction, it requires professional help.

Spiritual disciplines like prayer, daily Bible reading, tithing, and even regular church attendance are habits, too. We inculcate them in our lives and practice them without having to be prompted or cajoled by others. It's good to stop periodically and think through why we are doing what we are doing--and if that particular thing is still proving helpful--but good habits instilled when we are young can carry us a long way in the right direction.

I save a little time every morning because I always shave the right side of my face first. I don't even think about it.

With this penchant of mine for living by rote, I have to be careful when I am about to start something brand new, or add a new activity to my schedule. Will it help me towards Christ-likeness, or pull me further away? Do I really want to be still doing this in ten years? I try to remember to ask myself.

Someone spotted this sign beside a major dirt road in the Australian outback--
"Choose your rut carefully. You will be in it for the next 200 miles."
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