The Spice of Life

Today, we will talk about how we should live less out of habit and more out of intent.

We tend to be creatures of habit. We find comfort and security in our routines. Some of us are so entrenched that we can set clocks by our schedules — like Phileas Fogg. Remember him? Even when he tried to travel around the world in 80 days, he still tried to stick to his timetable!

Having routines or habits is a good thing. I wouldn't be able to do these daily reflections if I didn't have a system to do them. However, sometimes, we can become slaves to habits that hurt us or prevent us from living the fullness of life. "I have come that you may have life," Jesus said, "and have it to the full" (John 10:10).

We are hopefully aware of the habits that hurt us—and this includes the four cups of coffee we need every day to function properly or guzzling that beer the moment we return from work—but how do we discover the things that take away from the fullness of life?

A self-check might help. When was the last time you did something spontaneously — like loading your car with camping gear and taking off for an overnight trip into the desert? When was the last time you slowed down in the middle of your fast-paced life long enough to notice things around you — like the flowers growing by the side of the road? When was the last time you questioned what you were doing and thought about what you would *really* like to do with your life — like fulfilling the dreams you had when you were younger?

The prophet Isaiah reminds us, "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:19). God is constantly doing new things in our lives, and we need to be open to perceiving and embracing these changes.

They say variety is the spice of life, but some of us have been in the same job for dozens of years, doing the same thing day after day. If there is any break from the monotony of daily life, it happens only on the weekends, but even these are a repetition of every weekend that has preceded it. So, where is the variety that will make life a little more enjoyable than it is?

Start making minor variations to your routine. Instead of drinking coffee when you wake up, drink tea instead. If you are a tea drinker, change the flavor of your tea. Read a book instead of watching television. Learn a skill or pick up a hobby; you're never too old to learn something new. As Paul writes, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Once we start making little changes, we will be inspired to make larger changes, and a year from now, we might find ourselves very different people from how we are today. And, yes, don't forget to include Scripture among the changes you make, like reading a little more of it every day.

God bless you.

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