In my everyday life, I seem to form routines no matter how hard I try not to. I always end up hitting the snooze button one too many times. I end up eating at the same place for breakfast, sitting in the same booth. I kick my shoes off in the same place when I get home at the end of the day. Even though minor details about my day change, these tiny pieces of the pattern never show much variation.
We’ve all developed routines at one time or another, and often, when we recognize these patterns, we resent the fact that our life has fallen into an infinite loop. We view the routine as a predictable, boring rut that we can’t escape. Yes, some habits can harm us, hold us back and stunt our growth. But forming good habits can be a positive thing in your life.
Neuroscientists have found that our habits are controlled in a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, which also helps us develop emotions and memories. This is a different part of the brain than the part that makes decisions. So when you do something out of habit, that means you’re saving precious brain-power to devote toward making more important decisions.
We are going to develop patterns and routines no matter what. It’s just part of who we are. The questions is “will you develop the right habits?” Some habits will hold you back. Others will change your life in a positive way. Do you have a habit of buckling your seatbelt every time you get in your car? Or do you glance back over your shoulder before backing out of the driveway out of routine? These habits can save your life.
When it comes to our walk with Jesus, we’re often leery of developing a routine. We want our “quiet time” to be something authentic and meaningful. But without the routine, you’ll never get that deeper meaning that your searching for. Without consistency, your time reading scripture and praying are a quick emotional moment without any lasting effects. You need to create the habit as a way to reach the deeper level you’re longing for. So while your time alone with God everyday needs to be something deeper, it must become a routine as well. It’s a habit that can save your life.
If you’re looking for a way to get into reading the Bible more often, check out Read Scripture from the Bible Project. We’ve been using it as a church to read through the Bible this year and we’ll begin reading the New Testament tomorrow. So today is a great time to jump on board as we begin reading about the life of Jesus in the book of Matthew.
Want to sign up to get an email everyday to help you form a good routine? Sign up right here.
Every day you’ll read three or four chapters about the life of Jesus and the early church. You’ll also have a Psalm to read as a time of personal worship during your quiet time with God. Once or twice a week, you’ll be able to watch a video that digs deeper into what you’re reading that helps you really understand what you’re reading and how it ties into the rest of the Bible. Here’s the video for tomorrow.