Back in the Habit

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Ingrid Bergman

Habits are good (at least the good ones are good). We all have them. We all follow a routine of some sort and practice many things with predictable regularity.

You probably order your coffee the same way every time.

You prefer one side of the bed over another.

You like your steak cooked a certain way.

Many of us start to brush our teeth on the same side without even thinking about it.

Some practice a daily routine of prayer, bible reading, and journaling.

We’re human, and we homo-sapiens like our routines. They offer us a measure of comfort. They provide patterns in our lives that assist us in our daily duties. In fact, without habits we would go a little crazy trying to remember everything all the time about a million little things we just do without a lot of thought.

Recently, I’ve been on a working vacation (meaning I played a lot and worked a little). On the last day it struck me, “Wow. I haven’t written much, prayed much, or exercised at all.” All of my normal routines were disrupted by a different environment and an unusual schedule. The distractions of where I was pretty much threw my normal life out the window. It wasn’t like I didn’t pray at all, but it was sure random.

You might be thinking, “Give yourself a break; you’ve been on vacation. A break in the routine is good for the soul.” And I would agree. However, some habits are always important. For instance, my dentist would say that brushing my teeth at least twice a day is always a good idea, even on vacation. My doc would say I should exercise on a regular basis no matter what. And I’m pretty sure God would say it’s never a good idea to stop critical spiritual habits. In fact, spiritual disciplines are more important than physical ones.

So where am I going with this? What have I learned?

Perhaps I need to rethink what truly is important in life. Teeth are temporary; my soul is not.

Maybe I should find a way to practice good spiritual habits no matter what, and no matter where.

Fear not, my faith isn’t shipwrecked, and my love for Jesus is still intact. But if I’ve discovered anything about myself it’s this simple reality: I leak. Without regular, routine, and good spiritual habits, I eventually start to drift and wither.

I’ve also learned that I tend to find a way to accomplish what’s important to me. So the next time  I’m on the road I’m going to prioritize my time with the Father a bit better than I usually do. I need to learn some good travel habits.

How about you? Are there any good habits you might need to work on?

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