We are what we repeatedly do! I don’t think there is a truer statement in the universe. We all form habits and what follows is our habits forming us.
Are your habits good or are they bad? Do you have a habit that needs a redo?
I will have to admit…I have been a creature of habit for many years…it has been safe and given me a comfort and predictability in life that I have enjoyed….a “false control”. As I have headed into the Back 9, I have been prompted to “embrace” change…to welcome it…I didn’t like my kids growing up and leaving for college. I certainly haven’t liked the aging process and most recently I have hated…saying a “temporary” goodbye to my mother….realizing the habit of talking to her every day was an inevitable change for me as well as learning to live life without her presence, influence and encouragement!
Even though some changes bring a sadness and pain….what I have come to realize is that things change whether we like it or not. We have to make adjustments to the changes we aren’t looking for, but they come anyway. We also need to really examine habits that may need changing not only for our greater good but others as well. How we look at change…is extremely important……some changes are inevitable…. and some change is needed….to resist being willing to change…can just be down right stupid.
Don’t get me wrong…some habits are great ones…especially if they have brought “noticeable” good fruit to our lives. For me….examining my quiet time four years ago and making a change…was not necessarily easy, but the “CHANGE” has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done! The change was prompted by pain…..haha….no pain no gain…came into play here……but it was Pain…that led to the Change…that brought the GAIN!
So don’t miss this….most of the time, Pain or dissatisfaction can be a positive in your life…if you step back…and DECIDE TO DECIDE….there needs to be a change, whether it is changing a bad habit or introducing a new and good one.
My pain…stemmed from several directions….trying to please people instead of God (a.k.a. allowing human voices to be louder and have more influence in my life than God’s voice); the kids growing up and leaving home (I was becoming unemployed); and yes…mid-life (a.k.a.–the dreaded change). Some of the pain came from not dealing with past hurts (hidden hurts) that I had never faced. Instead, I had buried them.
Anyway, the combination of events took me to a place of extreme pain that produced in me a need to break bad habits and evoke new ones! It started with my quiet time…..the change involved….
It had to be first in my day…not wherever or whenever I could fit it in.
It had to be longer….much longer.
It had to include “worship”. Yes, music and quietly singing, quietly because if I sang loud my family would have protested.
I also picked a new place for quiet time that really has now become a “sanctuary”….”altar”….”garden” for meeting God.
Changing that one habit of having a “haphazard,” inconsistent quiet time to a “strong and unwavering time with God” has practically affected all other habits of my life. I seriously laugh and even balk at people who say they are too old to change. People, if you are reading this post, understand we serve a God…who is supernatural and is in the “change” business….the mindset of “too old to change” is a cop out. It is a buy in to an outright lie from the “PIT!” Don’t buy it!
Not sure what your change might need to be…but I have now lived life long enough to realize we need to continually adapt, grow and change. Look at what scripture says:
2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” We are a new creation. God is doing something new in us.
Romans 12:1-2, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” A living sacrifice–I would say if it is living, it is probably growing and moving, not stagnant.
Unfortunately, “not everyone that grows old, grows up.” Some people don’t make necessary changes. They hold on to the bad habits of younger days.
Another bad habit…for me was a love for talking. I have learned if you are talking, you aren’t learning. So, I have been seeking to be a better listener…..I am indeed a work in progress. Our pastor, Dick Lincoln, delivered a message several years ago about a book he read on the art of listening. It motivated me to get it and read it! The grade I would have given myself after reading the book was…at best…a C….now I hope I would at least get a B…but working for an A!
Another aspect of not being a good listener is “interrupting” or thinking about what I am going to say while someone else is talking. Thus, not listening fully to what is being said and being rude to boot….Ok…can you just see how much I need to change? Trust me, change is painful, uncomfortable, and difficult…You have to be intentional…but there is FRUIT… and it tastes very sweet and is not only palatable to yourself but others as well.
I encourage you to look at your habits, celebrate the good habits….but seek out the bad habits and start the climb for change….I promise the view will be pretty at the top of changing a bad habit into a good one.