I have realized that there are at least two types of people – those that choose who they will become and can create the habits required to become who they want, and those that just choose what seems right to them in the moment. I have mostly been the second type that responds to life and tries to make the best of it. However, I have thoroughly convinced myself that I will always have more mediocre results like this than if I would learn to create the habits that I believe would have the most significant impact in the areas important to me. This realization is in no small way inspired by Steven Coveys, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” book.
Beliefs and values can only exist through how we spend our time and who we are. Beliefs do not exist in words alone or in a verbal subscription to a movement or religion. The choices we make and how we talk about life and people are what defines us. I want to value my closeness with God over everything else in my life. I also want to create a successful business that makes billions of dollars and significantly tips the scales of favour and resources towards the oppressed, hopeless, and searching. I want to invest in my marriage extensively until it becomes more rich and valuable to me then I ever could have imagined.
I can’t imagine a better life than that. It gets me up every morning. However, it doesn’t get me up in time to run or spend time with God consistently. It also hasn’t helped me figure out how to consistently spend quality time with my wife every week. WTF! I need new habits. AND I need to become a different type of person in order to be able to make new habits. How does one become a different type of person? Well I know the Bible talks a lot about dying to your flesh nature, living by the Spirit, memorizing scripture, prayer and community. But gosh darn it those sound like habits again!
I have noticed that as you build habits, skills and insight all these things get a bit easier. The more focused and prioritized my life gets the more I want to focus and prioritize my life. Revelation from God really goes a long way because He says,
11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
I have come to believe that when I have the idea occur to me that I need to change in this way or that (and it is a healthy change) that God has already released the word (or at least part of it) that will actually bring about that change in my life if I let Him. And so this leaves me with faith, hope and a heavy feeling that change is overdue.
12 Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.
God please lead me in becoming a man of habits who overcomes the chaos, purposelessness and selfishness of my flesh nature to see your face and your kingdom come.