Creatures of habit

We are creatures of habit.

How do I know?  Because I am currently sitting in Starbucks typing a blog post on my iPad. The exact same thing I was doing last Sunday, and the Sunday before that, and the Sunday before that. It appears, this is my routine. It is my Sunday ritual, to bring my green mug to the Bucks, grab a cup of coffee and think through life as I write the week’s post.

Curiously, this habit of mine has resulted in some pleasant side effects. I no longer walk into a coffee shop full of strangers. In fact, I know everyone that works here, most by name. A few of them are becoming good friends, and often I no longer have to order. They simply know my preference.  It is familiar, comfortable, and I enjoy spending time here. 

It would be safe to say I have a relationship with this Starbucks. It is one that continues to grow every time I come in here. My talks with people have moved past what I want them to give me and are about family, school and life.

It is a simple truth in life that relationships are built on the foundation of time spent. Every friendship, every relationship starts with an introduction. There is always a first conversation. Truthfully, these first conversations are usually shallow and distant. They tend to concern generalities, like the weather. However, if time is spent, then relationships grow. Roots begin to develop and the relationship buds into something better than before. Eventually, through much time spent, the relationship is no longer shallow at all. The roots are deep, and the two parties know each other well. It is these deep relationships that, despite the amount of effort, produce the most gain.

Now, considering we are indeed creatures of habit, it is exactly these deep relationships that we turn to first. The most familiar relationships are themselves a habit. They are the friends we call daily. They are the first people we think about when we receive news, either exciting or discouraging. It is their opinion we want when a decision is to be made.

If you are wondering where I am going with all this, here is my point: our relationship with God is no different.

Sitting in Starbucks today, this basic truth availed itself. I come here so much I have developed the habit of coming. Because of that habit, when I have time to kill, a book to read, or a blog post to write, this is often the first place I turn. This has resulted in a close relationship with the people and even the building, as odd as that may sound.

The spiritual disciplines can be likened to this habit. At first, the Bible is an unfamiliar book full of strange stories and lessons hard to understand. However, as we keep coming to the word of God with diligence, we find those stories become familiar and the lessons begin to make sense. Soon, it becomes the place we turn for advice, for comfort, and ultimately for our nourishment.

Prayer is no different. In the beginning, it is talking to the ceiling, or so we feel. It feels distant and often shallow, like talking about the weather. Yet, as we seek God’s face in prayer more and more, we understand it is not just talking to someone we cannot see. It is a conversation with the Most High God, the only one who really can do something about it, whatever it is. We speak to God, and he speaks to us. He listens and so should we.

When we come to God often, we develop a habit of coming to God. It is exactly this habit that stirs us on into ever-deeper relationship with our creator. In essence, it becomes self-perpetuating.

Of course, the most familiar relationships are habits. They are the ones we call on daily. They are the first people we think about when things happen, good or bad. It is, in fact, their opinion we want when a decision is to be made.

 

4 Comments

  1. Dorothy said:

    Thanks for sharing, good word for today!!!
    Blessings and enjoy the aroma of Starbucks!!!!

    February 20, 2012
    Reply
    • Keelan said:

      Indeed. I will take in the smells Dorothy!

      February 21, 2012
      Reply
  2. Stephanie said:

    Such a simple thought about relationships but so true! What a great God we have to let us befriend Him as we do strangers!
    Can’t help but think about your parents when I read this post! Growing up I was not taught much about what a relationship should be. Instead of a loving hand many times we were dealt an abusive hand. I’m not complaining the Lord allowed me to grow up the way I did for a reason and I’m thankful for it. But if it wasn’t for your parents I would not be here today. By here I mean happy and serving the Lord. I have a loving wonderful husband who loves the Lord. We have two beautiful little boys and one (hopefully a girl) on the way. From the time your parents started picking me up on the church van I felt loved. Like I never had before! They were my safe place to go, and I went there often. Yes it was strange a teen girl always with your parents, but they gave me something that I had never had. A consistent loving relationship. I felt more like their daughter than my parents at times! They loved me for who I was. Just a rotten little sinner who deserves Hell! They demonstrated Christ love to me by example.
    I said all that to say, “Thanks for sharing your parents with me!”. I would not be in such a great place without their relationship to me! And thank you for being a friend during those difficult years in my life! I often thank God for the Cook family, and still feel as though I’m an “adopted daughter!”. Thanks for the post. Always good to be reminded how Truly Rich I am!! 
    Proverbs 14:20 (KJV)
    The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.

    February 21, 2012
    Reply
    • Keelan said:

      Stephanie, you don’t have to thank me for that. You know very well, we always considered you part of the family! I just thank God for his grace, you know.

      February 27, 2012
      Reply

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