Friday, December 9, 2011

changing habits and realigning perspectives

I've heard it since I was a little girl in Sunday school, and then as a teenager in youth group, as a college student in chapel, and I'm still hearing it as a young adult at my church.  You've probably heard it too.

"Start your day right.  Before you do anything else, get up early and spend time with God."

Generally, I would brush off these comments.  I get up super early as it is to exercise, and surely no one expected me to get up even earlier to read my Bible.  I wouldn't be able to focus anyhow.  The exercise thing I could handle, because I am immediately thrown into movement, and that wakes me up.  But sitting down and reading BEFORE exercise?  Not gonna happen.

My time with God has generally shifted with whatever stage in life I am currently living in.  When Gwenny was a newborn, I would spend time with God while holding her, or pray at night after putting her to sleep.  Now, I generally use the beginning of her morning nap to be with the Lord.   Usually, it's a good system.  Except on the days that are extremely busy.  Or the mornings that don't really go as planned.  Or when we have to be out during her first nap.  Or if *insert another million possibilities here* happens.

And the thing is, this habit of taking time with God during her first nap won't be something I can carry on through life, because eventually she will grow out of that first nap.  And eventually, I will probably be working outside the home again (unless we DO get that little piece of land with chickens and goats and I have to stay home to homestead!  Or homeschool, but that's another matter entirely... and I'm pretty sure spare time in the morning won't be an option.).  So the habit that I'm forming now won't stick.  It won't be consistent.

Seven years ago, when I decided that exercise was important for my health, I made an effort to change my current habits.  I started getting up and out to the gym to exercise before I did anything else, because I knew that was the only way I would fit it into my lifestyle, and it was very important to me.  I did it when I was pregnant, and I still do it, even with a small baby.  If I could make a massive lifestyle change with exercise, shouldn't I also be able (and willing) to do it with God?

This question was set before me while reading through my own comments section.  I was both encouraged and challenged by the lifestyle of Tim and his wife:

"My wife and I also try to do prayers together daily, and those were at night for the longest time but we found that we could not stay awake so we decided to do them before the gym. Which means I have been getting up at 4:25 for years now to pray with her and then go to the gym Mon-Fri. She gets up at 4 to do her quiet time first."

So there are people who get up earlier than I do in order to spend time with God.  After reading this testimony, I decided that this is something I want to implement into my life.  Just like exercise, even though it's really hard to get up so early to do it, I know I won't regret it.  My day will be better because of it.  My perspective becomes more aligned the earlier I spend time with God.  

I want a properly aligned perspective.  I want to make a habit that will last, no matter what stage of life I find myself in. 


What habits do you want to change to realign your perspective?
What habits have you changed already?  How did you see success?

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