Humans are creatures of habit. We like routines and rituals; some good, and others not so good.
Some habits are intentional, and others are unintentional. It is usually the less healthy habits that are easier to develop, and the healthy habits that require considerable effort.
I would like to suggest a couple of healthy habits that can change your life for the better.
Let’s call these habits 15 and 2. Each of us is given the same amount of time in each day; 24 hours. The old rule of thumb is: 8 hours for work, 8 hours for recreation, and 8 hours for sleep.
Work time is mainly fixed and inflexible. Likewise, sleep is essential if we are to be most effective during the rest of our 24-hour day.
Let’s assume that everyone can find about 15 minutes out of their 8-hour recreational time to set-aside for something very healthy and productive. The goal is to set-aside 15 minutes out of each 24-hour period to intentionally engage in scripture reading, meditation, and prayer.
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It is said that it takes about 28 days to develop a new habit. Challenge yourself to intentionally devote 15-minutes each day, for at least the next 28 days, to the daily practice of study and prayer for 15- minutes.
You can even put a reminder on your cell phone, a calendar on your refrigerator, or perhaps a note on the visor of your vehicle. Remember, this is an intentional task that will require some self-discipline; and the devil will do everything he can to prevent you from developing this habit.
The 2 stands for 2-hours per week in worship and fellowship with other Christian believers.
I understand that you don’t have to attend church to be a Christian, but spiritually healthy, mutually supportive Christians need to spend time together, and a church just happens to be the most convenient place to do that.
“[Do not] neglect meeting together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another …” (Hebrews 10:25, NRSV).
The next challenge is to commit to attending a minimum of 2 hours per week in worship and fellowship. We gather in the sanctuary for worship. Sanctuary is a safe place, set-apart from the distractions of life. Be aware that the devil will also try very hard to keep you from doing this.
By setting-aside 15 minutes a day and 2-hours a week, we are giving time back to God from the time that God has given us. Think of it as an offering of time to God, in recognition of God’s good gift of time.
At minimum, the practice of 15 and 2 gives us time to stop and reflect on the blessings of life, and to prayerfully consider how to handle the rough spots of life. Will you challenge yourself to commit to these two habits?
Blessings and Peace to You All,
Rev. Dr. David Bridges is the pastor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Grove. He can be reached at email@example.com. St. Andrew's worship service is at 10 a.m., every Sunday, and broadcast on KWXC 88.9 FM at noon on Thursdays and at 5 p.m. on Saturdays.