M-Note 9.16.22

Recently, I finished a book about building habits in your life that move you from where you are to where you want to be. The author challenges people to make easy, achievable, repeatable habits in order to grow. The key is to grow a little bit every day. One insight really stuck out to me.  When thinking about a habit, any habit – saving money, running, reading a book, praying – the key is to do it especially on the days you don’t feel like it. Skipping a day is worse than having a bad day. In other words, running a mile at your slowest ever pace is better than doing nothing at all. In a certain way, a bad day helps you more than a good day.

Later, I was reading a letter Paul writes to his much younger protégé Timothy. In it he writes:
15 Practice these things, and live by them so that your progress will be visible to all. (1 Timothy 4:15)
Practice what? Practice faith. Practice using the gift God gave you. Practice serving, or learning, praying or reading, practice giving up old habits and starting new ones. Practice.
The idea is pretty simple. Faith isn’t a thing you just have or don’t have. It is a thing that you have to practice daily. And like anything, there will be days you feel it, and days you don’t. Days when connecting with God feels natural, and days when it feels forced. But like any habit, the challenge is to especially stay connected on those difficult days, and during those difficult seasons. When it isn’t easy is when we can learn the most, change the most, and grow the most.
The past year has been a difficult season of life for so many of us. Thank you to all of you that have kept practicing faith through worship, prayer, learning or serving. And if that habit has fallen away, do not feel bad. Just remember, there is never a better day that today to start new habits that move us in a new direction.
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