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The Power of Habit

Every morning I drink a large glass of room-temperature water. It’s one of the first things I do. I’ve done it for almost 30 years. I do it without thinking.

That is the power of habit.

Good habits are an asset. They do two things that super-charge your life.

First, because a habit is done automatically and repeatedly, life is set up for it. When I go to bed at night, I make sure a 16-ounce glass is on the kitchen counter with a jug of spring water next to it. In the morning, I fill the glass and guzzle. It’s quick, simple, efficient.

Second, a habit doesn’t burn emotional energy. There’s no considering or deciding. At a certain place, at a certain time, it’s done. I don’t agonize over my drink of water. I just do it. It doesn’t use emotional energy, and, hey, I feel better for the internal cleansing.

Just as we have health habits that enrich our lives, we should have spiritual habits. If you’ve read my book Soul Pursuit: The Busy Person's Guide to Biblical Meditation, you know I value the habit of meditation.

How can meditating on God’s Word become a habit? Do it every day. In addition, associate certain places or activities with meditation.

For instance, in the morning when I look for my clothes for that day, I first look for my iPod touch. This little piece of technology plays a key role in my scripture review, which aids in meditation. While I dress and wash up, I use the Bible app to listen to chapters I have memorized that I want to retain. I try to say the verse slightly ahead of the recording (a good wake up exercise for the brain!). If I don’t know the passage well or get stuck, the recording reinforces the words.

Here’s two more associations that help me. Most of my memorizing is done while washing dishes (we don’t have a dish washer). A printed-out passage sets on the kitchen window ledge, and I recite phrases over and over. When showering and getting ready for bed, I review scriptures in my mind.

That’s three events that happen nearly every day. If I don’t do the associated memorizing/reviewing/ meditating activity that I’m in the habit of, I feel out of place. It’s like eating spinach salad for breakfast. It doesn’t seem to fit.

Truthfully, I wish I had more good habits. If exercise were a habit, I would just do it. I wouldn’t waste time and emotional energy considering the decision.

Would you like to make scriptural meditation a habit? Do it every day. Tie it to an activity. Then enjoy the internal cleanse.

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