Sunday, September 19, 2010


Things are slowly getting back into routine at our house. 

Pastor Pete recently posted a timely blog on “Habits”.  He mentioned in passing the “ruts” that unhelpful habits can get us into. 

At the same time, over the last month I’ve been reading my way through “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster (thanks for the loan, Craig).  Foster points out that when we see the need for change in our lives, we usually rely on willpower and determination, and struggle to make that change any deeper than the surface.  As soon as the going gets tough we revert to our previous form. 

As Foster puts it - “When we despair of gaining inner transformation through human powers of will and determination, we are open to a wonderful new realisation: inner righteousness is a gift from God to be graciously received.  ...  We cannot attain or earn this righteousness of the kingdom of God; it is a grace that is given.”

Fosters spiritual disciplines are habits and routines that can help us come into a place where we are open to receiving that grace.  He also cautions against turning them into “laws” that become condemning and confining. 

I’d like to think it wouldn’t have taken an earthquake to shake me out of my ruts, but nonetheless here I am with the perfect opportunity to make some “tweaks” in my habits and routines in a helpful way. 

A starting place for me is to re-establish the habit (that stopped happening over winter) of a morning prayer time.  Especially seeing as I’ve been woken up before the alarm by the toddler anyway.  That will also be a chance to start practising some of Foster’s disciplines, and see what comes of them.  I’ll keep you posted of my progress.

On a more mundane level, I’m also aiming to start drinking more fresh water and less coffee, and I’m still working out how to rearrange our household chore roster.

What about your habits and routines – which are the helpful ones and which are unhealthy and need changing?  Are you in a rut, and if so what will it take to shake you out of it?

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