07 Apr New Habits
This week marks the fourth week in our official fight against the Coronavirus by self-distancing at home. There are many of us who have now moved the office to the bedroom or the classroom to the kitchen. Schedules have been rearranged. Plans have been altered. Life as we know it has been pretty much shut down.
But despite the painful headlines and the noise of worry that keeps constantly playing in the background of our minds (or maybe not so quietly!), are we learning anything about the way we live?
Admittedly, I am a planner and a doer. I may be old school, but I have my life neatly organized in a flowery planner with tabs dividing every month and notes to keep me on track. It tells me what needs to happen every day, every month, every year. But when things change so quickly and our new normal becomes long days inside, and even quieter, sometimes lonely nights, doesn’t it make us ask how we have been filling our time all along?
For some reason, these last few weeks I have been getting up earlier than ever, maybe because my bedtime has been earlier as well. It has allowed more time to study God’s Word, more time to talk with Him, more time to read and think and reflect. More time just to be. One thing is certain. I do not have to be off and running because right now there is nowhere to go.
Change requires us to adjust both our way of thinking and our way of doing. Perhaps we have been so consumed with all this life affords that we have neglected to put the most important things at the top of the list. Yet by God’s grace, when much has suddenly been stripped away, we have the opportunity to create new ways, new habits.
So what does that mean for you? Maybe it is a regular time set aside to read and pray, something that has not been a part of your daily routine before. Family dinners around the table. Hours spent in God’s creation. A new connection with family and friends. The occasion to tackle that pile of books beside your bed. Even hobbies that have been allocated to the basement or garage may now have found a more welcomed place in your life and home.
One thing is for certain. The rat race which calls us to be here, there, and everywhere has been set aside. Doesn’t it make us wonder how necessary all that running around was in the first place?
Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16). How do we make the best use of our time? No doubt, it is by growing in our love for the Lord and knowledge of His Word, as well as living a life of love for others. That will not look exactly the same for you and me. But it will always point to the same which is showing the glory of God in all we are and all we do.
We do not know when life will return to normal, but when it does, my prayer for my life is that I will not be the same. No doubt, things will start to fill up that planner once again, but I long for all the important things to not be suddenly crowded out.
These days may be peculiar and even hard, yet rejoice in what this time has the potential to mean. Begin to practice God-glorifying habits that will not only get you through today, but will ultimately last a lifetime.