do i want a habitual faith? this is something i have thought about for many years. see, i was raised in the anglican church. the church i attended was a vibrant, active, spirit-filled place. the anglican summer camp i attended was filled with the spirit of god and christ's love was evident all around. the anglican church i worked at through university, actively interacting with the community, was clear in their mission to spead the gospel. and all of these church experiences were what many consider tired. these churches all used the anglican liturgy. when i came to grad school, in england, the birthplace of this 'church of england' elsewhere called 'anglican' i found myself in churches distancing themselves from the liturgy. i found friends, brothers and sisters in christ, suggesting that anything that is repetitive, that is habitual, is not of the spirit. now, i'm not trying to start a discussion on which is better, each has it's place, and each form of a sunday service, provided it expresses the love of god, declares the gospel and points to christ crucified, is doing its job. but it made me wonder if habit in faith leads to tiredness in faith?
it is my habit, to study the bible. it is my habit to pray while i knit. it is my habit to say grace before meals. it is my habit to post on this blog. it is my habit to worship.
habits can seem boring. can seem contrived. can seem tired. and yet it is when i am active in these habits, that i am most in communion with christ. le boy and i have started the habit of a morning devotional. it has been a habit for one of us to pick up the book and read aloud, to study the passages associated in scripture and then to pray - for what we have learned and studied, and for what the day holds. do i want to do it everyday? no. does he? no. but the habit creates the space and time. and through it we ask god into our lives and into our marriage. habits are for the days when you don't want to.
habits: rising early, working out, brushing your teeth, emptying the dishwasher - can seem mundane. when actually, each of those things is worship. taking care of your body and your living space is worship. and faith, to be practiced, needs to be a habit. not something you do mindlessly, but something you are so wired to do that not doing it feels wrong. we are not created to be constantly spontaneous, we are created, partially for habitual worship. the moment-by-moment, today i am choosing to praise my maker, even though i don't feel it, worship. we need to replace our old bad habits, with new good ones. sometimes we have to practice (habitually) our way to worship, and from worship, to faith.
23 All of you, slave and free both, were once held hostage in a sinful society. Then a huge sum was paid out for your ransom. So please don't, out of old habit, slip back into being or doing what everyone else tells you. 1 Cor 7:23 (MSG)