Have you ever driven someone else’s vehicle and some of the controls such as the gearshift or emergency brake were in a different location than in your own vehicle? Did you find yourself reaching for that gearshift in the location where you are used to it normally being?
I was driving my husband’s truck this past weekend and kept being thrown off every time I went to shift gears. In my car, the gearshift is in the center console. On my husband’s truck, it is on the steering column. Without thinking, I would reach for the gearshift where I am used to it being in my own car. I didn’t have to think about it. It was second nature to me. I do it so often that it was force of habit. I only had to think about looking for the gearshift in a different location.
I started thinking about the spiritual implications of this. My relationship with the Lord and the spiritual disciplines in my life should be like reaching for the gearshift in my car. They should be so ingrained in my subconcious that I do them without having to stop to think about them. Whenever life comes my way, it should be second nature to me to talk to God in prayer. I once heard the phrase, “go to the throne, not the phone.” Love that one!
I should be able to recall scripture verses as easily as snapping my fingers. Starting each day with the Lord should be a habit, not something I either move down in the list of priorities in my day or skip altogether because I have other things I feel I must do. Why do we not feel that way about spending time with God? Why does it seem that it is an item on our to-do list that we feel relieved when we check it off or guilty when we fail to do it? It should not be that way.
When I use the term “habit,” that is not to say that I just go through the motions. That goes back to checking it off on my to-do list. Go grocery shopping. Check. Pick up dry-cleaning. Check. Make dinner. Check. Take daughter to gymnastics. Check. Read Bible and pray. Check. However, it should be automatic.
It is said that it takes three weeks to establish a habit. I want spending time with God and responding to Him first rather than second, third or fourth to be instantaneous. That is as it should be.
If you are like me and still need to establish some new habits, what do you say we all make today Day One? While it may be too late to begin the day with the Lord, it’s not too late to spend time with Him, and since we have no promise of tomorrow, why not do it now?