If you are like most people (or me), January 1 came and left as quickly as the resolutions you set for 2013. In fact, I stopped making resolutions because of my own personal failure rate and it’s impact on me for the rest of the year. But I read something from Donald Miller’s blogsite “Storyline blog” that made total sense to me. Let me share a portion of the blogpost first before we go any further.
I don’t have to change all of my habits at once.
According to Duhigg, research shows we all have few trigger habits, keystone habits. Singular habits – when we do them, transform other areas of our lives. Keystone habits set off a chain of internal events, giving us willpower and momentum to do other things. Over time, these keystone habits form other habits, and we become completely different people. These habits can be positive or negative
post by John Sowers (full post here)
In fact, upon further reflection, something rang true for me. As strange as it may seem, flossing my teeth is a keystone habit for me. It is that one small thing that when I do it faithfully impacts everything else in my life. (I so wish I could say my prayer time or devotional reading…I really do and hopefully will one day) But the fact of the matter is that when I floss, I have more discipline for just about everything else in my life. I didn’t think about it at first. Then I read further down in John Sower’s post, someone else admitted to flossing and it set off sirens and bells in my soul!
What is your keystone habit? What is that one thing that aligns the rest of your life and creates discipline in your life in other areas? I believe if we will focus on that “one” thing and not all the “other” things we want to accomplish, we just might find the rest of our life coming together as well. I personally have a whole host of things I feel called and compelled to take up this year. I’d better get to flossing if I have any hope of making progress.
“Communication is not about SPEAKING what you think. It’s about ENSURING others hear what you mean.” — Justin Mayo
As someone who regularly speaks, I am not quite sure I agree with Mr. Mayo. The communication process has many components that work together to create a message. As a pastor, I am often surprised by what people tell me they heard during a sermon. It is not unusual that what they heard was not something I had planned or even thought about. It’s like a piece of art. Interpretation of the message tends to be very personal. We hear messages through our experiences and our preconceived notions.
I wonder how often I miss God’s message because I haven’t been open enough to truly hear? I wonder if my times of study and prayer are more about validating my own desires instead of hearing God’s heart?
My challenge today is to open my heart enough to truly hear the message God is speaking to me today. Rather than simply hearing what I want to hear, I want to hear what God wants me to hear. Far too often that means I must understand my own hang-ups and default way of thinking in order to create a space for God’s message to penetrate and change me.
Jesus said if we want to gain his life we must lose our own. I see how that relates to my study and prayer just as much as my eternal salvation.