I’m not sure about you, but whenever I hear the word “habit,” my mind always goes to bad habits. I immediately think about biting my finger nails, a disgusting habit that is one of my least favorite parts about myself. However, of late I’ve been learning that all habits aren’t in fact bad. We just, for some reason, like to call them rhythms when they’re good!
At the beginning of this year, someone generously donated one-year Bibles for our entire staff at Cross Point. With a plan of attack already created for me, it’s made reading my Bible so much easier, and I’ve gotten into a good habit of knocking off each daily reading before I go to bed. And along the way, I’ve learned the importance of two spiritual rhythms in my life. Reading my Bible and intentional prayer.
I know that those sound so obvious, but in the past three months, they’ve taken on a new meaning and value. For most of my life, I’ve thought that God would be happy with me if I read my Bible and prayed. I thought that those two practices were things I needed to check off of a list to be a good Christian and have good days. What I didn’t realize was that God isn’t happier with me when I read my Bible and pray, but my days are better. Why is that? It’s because with those two rhythms in my life, I have a new perspective on each and every day.
Because I’m not quite perfect in these being consistent rhythms in my life, I use my phone reminders to help me stay consistent. In the morning, a reminder goes off that says, “Start with God.” So each morning, I take time to intentionally pray for my day and the things going on in my life. With that posture each morning, it frames my day in a totally new way. In prayer, I’m reminded of truths in Scripture that talk about who I am, how God will partner with me throughout the day and how I’ll be able to not just survive but thrive each day. Prayer in the morning connects me with God before I do anything else and starts my day with a new posture.
The second reminder I have that goes off in my phone reminds me to “Pray and read” every evening at 9:40 p.m. I know for a lot of people they enjoy reading their Bible to start their day, but I am the opposite of a morning person. So I’m much more engaged in the evening, and it’s worked out well, also, because I’ve been able to go to bed in a great frame of mind. Everything that’s happened in my day is framed through Biblical truths that I read before bed. I get to review the day, see spots that I could’ve been better and celebrate times that my actions lined up with God’s ideal.
The point, though, isn’t to toot my own horn or tell you that you have to do these things. It’s not “two or three steps to a better life!”
But I’ve found with these rhythms in my life, my perspective on each day is totally different.
A reliance on God through prayer and an encouragement through the truths of Scripture make each of my days take on a new and exciting perspective. Each day I’m reminded of what God says about me and am able to pick those truths out during my day.
It’s not just spiritual rhythms that have manifested as important in my life, though. I’ve even seen my days go better when I exercise in the morning. I’ve felt more equipped at work when I listen to a podcast on the way to work. I have better relationships when I text an old friend every Monday evening. I don’t do these all of the time, but when I am consistent, things are just better. When my life is consistent with rhythms, I don’t have to think and stress about my daily habits. Rhythms enable me to live intentionally towards a better life.
So as you’re looking at what your day to day looks like, what are things that need to become rhythms? What do you need to start your day doing to ensure you’re taking it on the best you can? How do you need to end your day to feel encouraged and ready for tomorrow? What reminders need to go off in your phone at lunchtime to help you implement midday rhythms? Because ultimately rhythms will help us become the best versions of ourselves and see the world through healthy and purposeful perspectives.