Habits . . . I have so many.
Some are good, like recycling, keeping a file folder for each of my clients and charging my cell phone before the battery dies. Some don’t really matter, like never making the bed. I kind of wish I did, but not enough to start doing it. And I married a fellow non-bed-maker, so the state of the bed isn’t cause for argument. Some are bad, like letting the dirty dishes pile up until we’ve run out of clean spoons. (And some are just totally gross, like picking at hangnails. I know, I know. Mr. S. hates it too.)
These habits are surface-level. But with each, I’ve done something enough — or not done something enough — to make it a regular behavior, a regular pattern, a regular activity.
Books have been written about what it takes to make something a habit. Some activities become habit easier than others. I’m more inclined to make file folders because I love me some organization. I’m less inclined to wash dishes because the chore just seems to go slowly.
These days, the need for a new kind of habit has been making its home in my heart. And holy whoa, does it scare me.
Although I’ve called myself a Christian for much of my life, I have never made spiritual disciplines a habitual, regular part of each day. I cannot count how many . . .
. . Bible reading plans I’ve launched and not finished.
. . prayer journals I’ve started and left incomplete.
. . devotionals I’ve purchased and only read the first few chapters.
With God’s grace alone do I have a basic knowledge of His word, a hodge-podge of these bits of study. Always good intentions. Never good follow-through.
So back to this new, scary habit. I am at a place in my life, a place in my faith, where I need to make time every single day to read the Bible and pray through it. It’s been a heart-grabbing conviction, really. I am weary and this weary soul needs its foundation strengthened.
Generations of Christians have made spiritual disciplines a reality through rising early. And so I wonder, what might my faith and my life look like if I make daily Bible reading a habit? Not by my own might or strength, but by Christ’s.
To me, this is so scary. I might fail. (And let’s be honest, friends, failure feels pretty embarrassing when you blog about it.) Also, there is not a bone in my body that wakes up early. The coffee maker is about to get quite a workout. But, as with so many things in life that are scary, it’s so unbelievably worth trying.
I hope to tackle this experiment for 30 days and blog my way through it. Consider it an exercise in how to make a practice into a habit. I want to write about it honestly, sharing what challenges I am facing and what God is teaching me and how I am growing. I have a plan and I’ll be sharing the research and rationale behind it in coming days.
Friends, I’m embarking on this challenge, this mission, this experiment. And it’s starting tomorrow, February 1, 2012. I’m going to spend time in my Bible every morning for 30 days. 30 minutes a day for 30 days. I have this feeling it’s going to change my faith.
“There are two ways to read the Bible. The one way to read the Bible is that it’s basically about you: what you have to do in order to be right with God, in which case you’ll never have a sure and certain hope, because you’ll always know you’re not quite living up. You’ll never be sure about that future. Or you can read it as all about Jesus. Every single thing is not about what you must do in order to make yourself right with God, but what he has done to make you absolutely right with God. And Jesus Christ is saying, ‘Unless you can read the Bible right, unless you can understand salvation by grace, you’ll never have a sure and certain hope. But once you understand it’s all about me, Jesus Christ, then you can know that you have peace. You can know that you have this future guaranteed, and you can face anything.’” – Tim Keller
Friends, will you join me on this journey? I’d love to hear how you’ve made a practice a habit. If there’s something you do every day, how do you do it? What made it work? What challenges have you encountered? I need all the love and advice I can get.
I’ll be updating here often, and on a few other places around the Internet too. Stay tuned here, and on Twitter too: @sarahkoci.
(And hey, if you don’t want to hear about how many cups of coffee I have to down to make myself wake up early, don’t go far or feel isolated. Inspiration-Driven Life is going to keep tackling other stuff too. Love you all, no matter who you are, and grateful to have you with me.)