Christian Living · Faith · Grace · Hope

Are You a Creature of Habit?

Automatic headlights are annoying. I’m convinced they are evil. I’ve had several experiences where a car is blinding me with all the brightness. I’m not talking about cars a mile or more behind me-either.

Just last night, while my daughter was driving home, the chap behind us compromised our ability to see with all the brightness. Not exaggerating…promise. Without missing a beat, my immediate response was, “automated lights” {with maybe another word thrown in there. Maybe}. My girl thought that was humorous, which may point to the fact that I regularly abhor bright lights out loud!

Automatic lights are a feature found on newer cars. You can turn them on and the car automatically adjusts when needed. Whoever designed that feature wasn’t working in distances I can appreciate {I mean, where is common courtesy}. That’s the trouble with letting a computer do the work that a person has the capacity to do better {I feel like I may have stolen that statement from some strong 80’s argument}.

Automated has both positive and negative implications. For instance, the GFCI outlets near water sources are brilliant. They were designed to trip in compromising situations. What about the iron with the automatic shut off feature? Genius for anyone like me that waits to think about such things until I’m miles and miles away from my home. Or the person that immediately goes to prayer when found in a crisis, that’s an automatic response I want.

Automatic means something done unconsciously, or by force of habit. Maybe you, like me, have used this phrase, “I’m a creature of habit.” Maybe you weren’t defending your actions when using that phrase, but mostly that would be my excuse. I found comfort in hiding behind that phrase, because it meant I didn’t have to adjust my “settings.” I could just blind people, if you will, with the bright light of my arrogant, cold responses.  Old habits die hard, as the saying goes.

So how do we deal with the automatic responses, thoughts, beliefs that don’t contribute to the good in us, or others? This is a fair, yet difficult question. When my “automatic” response to a spill is to launch into a long dissertation about how hard I work to keep the house clean {hello, victim}, what have I really deposited in my child? When my responses are short because I’m feeling disappointed about {let’s be honest, this could be about any little thing} another’s actions, what is destroyed in relationship?

There was a worn path between my old office and the parking lot. We didn’t have a sidewalk that led from the building to the parking lot, so that meant a few extra steps to walk through the visitor parking lot to get to staff parking. However, the worn path proved that through the grass saved a few seconds.

I routinely traveled this path to my car. It had become a habit to take the worn path.One day as I was minding my own business {and taking the worn path to my car}; God put a thought in my head that I could not shake.  I still can’t shake it.

Running over the same old ground looks a lot like (1)

Have you ever been stuck in a rut?

*Deferring to anger in relationship as a means of protecting your heart

*Playing the blame game-instead of taking responsibility

*Withholding intimacy to manipulate your spouse

*Pointing out the failures of others because you’re dissatisfied with yourself

I don’t want to automatically take the worn path.  The deeper the rut, the harder it is to climb out of the habit.

While I’d like to turn the automatic headlight feature off on all your cars, I think I’ll stick to dealing with myself.

May today be the very day that I courageously turn off automatic features/responses, and let the Lord do a new thing in place of the many ruts I’ve worn. May the grace of God fill in the deep trenches that old habits have formed. May you allow Him to do the same for you, friend!

 

 

5 thoughts on “Are You a Creature of Habit?

  1. as always my Dear sister in Christ, you struck a chord! I love you for listening to our Creator GOD and for writing from your heart and then touching so many! I LOVE YOU! Krista

    Like

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