“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
I did it again.
I just flipped the light switch, even though the power is off.
Intellectually, I understand and have come to accept that the nice men and women at SaskPower need to do some maintenance this morning. But habit runs deep.
Yup. Just did it again.
I’m just so used to using lights that it is a powerful force of habit.
Think of how many times in a lifetime I’ve walked into a room and needed light.
I’ve done it so often, I don’t need to think about it. It has become an automated response, like singing the ABC song to figure out where ‘m’ comes for alphabetical order.
In my business, we are looking for automaticity. If a child can do something automatically, the learning has been driven into long term storage, and it will be there when they need it. That skill or fact or practice is ready for new learning to be piled on top of it. It has behaved a little like concrete – the cement has hardened it into a particular shape. They will be able to perform that task with less of their conscious brain, freeing critical space for new learning.
Which is why it’s so important for us to practice the right things.
If we practice and copy the ‘customs of this world’ – arguing over silly things on social media, hanging our value on our bank account, climbing up the corporate ladder on the backs of others – we will make those responses into habits, which turn into behaviours, which become our character.
And note that the apostle Paul instructs us that we need an internal shift if we are to NOT copy the patterns all around us. We need divine intervention – which is ours for the asking.
Imagine if your automatic response to trouble was gratitude for what you have? What if your instinct was to pray before you griped? What if the first thing in your mind was beautiful and pure and good, because you had taken the time to patiently drive good things deep into your heart?
I’m sure challenged by that.
Build a good habit with me??
Father, we see a lot of troubling trends on the news lately that prove that living selfishly is disastrous for our world community. We need a different approach, one that instills kindness and compassion and generosity and a wider circle than ‘me, me’. Renew our minds. Help us to build responses that are genuinely beautiful, and relearn any habits we have built which aren’t pleasing to You. Amen.