Monday, November 7, 2016

Over and Over

Last week I wrote a little about routines. Finding our way to make God a priority.  
I received some really open responses from friends and readers. 

Some practice a schedule. Some don’t. A few were honest enough to admit they don’t make God a priority and others tried to justify their lack of reading the Bible, tithing and praying with the ever familiar “There are just sometimes I can’t.”

For me, in my daily life I would find myself shoe horning God in and scheduling things I wanted to do.

After talking to a few people who I genuinely trust I decided to schedule my time with God.  

My old schedule was this….

I wake up on weekdays at 7:15. I’ll then lay in bed till 7:30 and then rise and get ready for work. I usually get to work in a 5 minute window of 8am.

After work, when there isn’t church or class I go home and work on freelance for a while. Eat with the family and then work a little more.  About 8pm I stop work and go hang out with the family for roughly 30 minutes while we get everyone to bed.  Then Lin and i provided she doesn’t have school work will sit and talk or watch tv until about 11 and head to bed.

That was until now. I started last Monday on my new normal.

I didn’t adjust anything in my schedule except for what time I get up.  I wanted schedule time with God just like I would schedule an important meeting because thats what it is. 

I decided after reading a few articles here and here that its best to get up at the exact same time everyday. This way your body can find a rhythm and be less tired feeling.  I have to admit I am almost always tired. I used to take a weird pride in the fact that I could nap anywhere at anytime. Never even occurred to me that it could be a sign of something amiss.

I chose to start this new schedule on my vacation and its not been easy. I did cheat a couple days and took a nap a couple hours after I got up.  

Here is my new normal.

I wake up at 6am every morning. I’m writing this at 10am on Sat and I have been up since 6. As soon as my alarm rings I get up. I don’t lie there. I don’t hit snooze I force my body out of bed.
I make a quick breakfast and head to my office

It’s there with God that I have my first "meeting" of the day. I either watch/listen to a sermon or physically study the Bible.  This averages 40 minutes. I take notes while I watch/listen/read.  After that I read my devotion. I use the you version bible app like so many others I know. Then I journal.  I’m not very good at that yet but I still do it.
I pray and I get ready for work.

I’m anticipating and looking forward to times when my meeting goes long. Days where I get so deep in worship or praise, journaling or prayer that I am late for work. 

Right now however I wish I could tell you that I love it. I wish I could tell you that I’ve never felt better. Never felt closer to God, but I can’t. Not yet at least.  

What I can tell you is I have changed my pattern. A routine that repeated over time will yield a return.  Reaping the benefits of any change takes time. You don’t get ripped after working out for a week.  The point it the push.  I have to push through the grogginess, the irritability, the flesh and make it to the reward. 
Steven Furtick puts it like this, “If you resist the monotonous you’ll miss the miraculous.”

 I’ve heard growing up that after 30 days something becomes a habit. 30 days is how long it takes to change. However that is based on research from the 60’s and a study in 2009 discovered it is closer to 60 days before a behavior becomes automatic.

So here I am on day 6 and it’s not been a game changer yet.  I have no intentions of stopping.  For me this is what it takes to make sure God is part of my life and that is more important than my comfort.  

Thanks for reading.
Alan

UPDATE: I wrote this blog on Sat and didn't really think about this but I woke up 2 minutes before my alarm.  Sunday the same thing, I woke up before my alarm. Today is Monday the 7th and again my internal alarm woke me up within 5 minutes prior to my actual alarm going off.  My body is starting to adjust. So is my mind. This morning I didn't even fix breakfast I was so excited to get to my Bible that I went straight to it.

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