Deane's Blog

An Extraordinary Habit

Faith, LentDeane WattersComment

   

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. 

Psalm 143:8

Even before the alarm starts buzzing, my body is already stirring, waking from a deep sleep. Finding my first thoughts, I lie there with my mind already searching for clarity in the darkness. Why should I get up? What is big enough, exciting enough, hopeful enough to make me willing to put my legs over the side of that warm bed and slip quietly out of our room?  A thought, that feels like a call, comes to mind. Something is waiting for me! Someone is waiting. That idea is enough. Out I go. Grabbing a steaming cup of coffee, I wonder what He has for me as I slip into my chair with my Bible and notebook.

Every day I wonder. What will I read? What will I hear? What truth will solidify in my mind and heart as I open myself up to the word of God, as I open my heart to God himself. What resolve will become stronger? What promise will become clearer?

I come expecting to I find Him. He's there in the Word and He has plenty to say.  His love meets me and I get to listen and  talk to Him about the things that concern me, about the ones I love, about the friends who have asked for prayer.

Every day I come.

I heard a friend say recently that she marvels at the verse from James 4, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." You can almost hear the melody in those words, the welcome, the wonder. He is always with us and as we reach out to him, in repentance and humility, we can recall it! As we slip into the chair, Bible in hand, He is there with us.

Have you felt the power of a rhythm that keeps you in step with the music, even when you aren't sure what the next step should be? Have you found the ability to sing the words to a song that would not show up without a melody?  Have you been surprised by the ease with which scripture gets memorized and stays forever when attached to a familiar tune? The rhythm carries the content.

This is the capability of rhythm; the strength of habit.

I don't always feel like getting out of bed. But the rhythm carries me. It keeps me going even when my feelings don't wholeheartedly agree.

We all live rhythmically because there are schedules to keep, jobs to get to, households to run and we all need to eat and sleep! We have routines that keep our lives somewhat predictable and moving forward. I'm sure your days are often consistent and somewhat predictable in their schedule - unless you have a newborn in the house!

There are other spiritual rhythms that I am working on because I do not want to leave that part of my life to chance. Some of those steady pulses include:

  • Going to church on Sunday mornings.
  • Planning ahead to not do my regular "work" but instead to read, rest or do fun activities on Sunday afternoons, learning to practice a Sabbath rest.
  • Trying to remember to sit in silence with God for just a few minutes at times throughout the day, hoping to develop my hearing of God's voice.
  • Visualizing God as personal and warm, here close to me, as I think about Him and talk with Him.

Do you have rhythms that help you along?

Since today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, it might be a good day to think about these things. What might you want to do differently in these forty days before Easter? Is there a practice you'd like to invite into your routine that will enable you to  feel the love of Christ and remember his journey to the cross?

Today I encourage you to intentionally introduce an element into the rhythm of your day that will encourage the flow of your spiritual life. It might become an extraordinary habit that carries you for years to come.

It doesn't mean that you will immediately jump out of bed the moment that alarm goes off. But it can mean that as getting up becomes a welcomed part of the rhythm of your day, it may become easier and the rewards are everlasting.