I started a new habit this week: brushing my teeth while standing on one leg.
It looks silly, but the idea is to improve my balance. I heard about this practice from the book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, by Gretchen Rubin. Rubin is one of my favorite secular authors and I found this book fascinating. Her premise is that habits make our lives better, because once they are in place we don’t have to think about them. For instance, my overall health is better because I exercise every weekday. I don’t struggle with the decision if I should exercise or not. I just do it. (Huh. That would make a good slogan.)
While I was reading the book, I got to wondering if habits could improve my spiritual life as well. Are there things that I could do every day that would improve my relationship with God?
Every year, they were to practice the ritual of Passover–remembering God’s mighty act of bringing them out of Egypt.
Every week the Israelites were to celebrate the Sabbath–ceasing their work and instead spending time worshipping God.
Every day they were to call upon God–“Every day I call upon you, O Lord, I spread out my hands to you” (Psalm 88:9).
These habits were all designed to draw the Israelites out of their normal routine and into God’s presence.
God told Moses:
My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. (Exodus 33:14)
Ah rest, that is what I need. Soul rest. The kind of rest that would calm my heart. The kind of respite that would obliterate the restlessness in my spirit.The kind of stillness that would cancel out the craziness of this world like noise-cancelling headphones wipe out the pandemonium around me.
So what habits and routines promote soul rest? It seems from Exodus 33:14 that the answer is: any routine that draws us into the presence of the Lord.
Over the next few weeks, I will explore a few spiritual habits that will help find that rest. Some will be routines you probably already have in place, like a daily quiet time. But some may be new to you, like prayer journaling. Each habit will have one purpose in mind–to connect with Jesus.
And I promise I won’t urge you to brush your teeth while standing on one leg.
Check out all seven habits! Click the links below.
Next step: Choose one of the 7 Habits that sounds intriguing. Practice it for 21 days to make it a habit. Accept God’s invitation to rest.