A habit with an appetite, please

daily_Bible_habitI guess you could call it a habit.

By mid-afternoon on most weekdays, I close the door to my bedroom, pile my Bible & my books & me on my bed, and pig out.

The diet is pretty consistent. Usually something sweet to start, followed by something cold and refreshing to wash it down.

Daily Bible reading almost always comes first. Then journaling and memory recitations. A concentrated time of praying and listening finish the meal.

I don’t really have to plan it out ahead of time.
I just do it.
So I might agree it’s a habit. Is that okay?

But sometimes I skip this meal because...

  • I think I’m too busy to eat
    (although I never think that with physical food), or
  • I just forget altogether
    (also never happens with real meals—I know when I’m due one), or
  • I’m too full from snacking on junk food all day
    (um, okay, it happens).  

But most days I simply eat because I’ve made it my habit. Growling stomach or not. I know it’s nutritious and I need it. I need Him. He’s life-giving and I want to fill up on Him and His holiness. 

Is it okay if I force feed? Out of habit? Eating when I know I’m hungry, and sometimes when I don’t realize it?

If I suffer a time of spiritual aridity, of darkness and blankness, should I stop praying until new life enters my prayer?

Every one of the spiritual masters insists, No.

If I stop praying, how will I know when prayer does become alive again? And, as many Christians have discovered, the habit of not praying is far more difficult to break than the habit of praying.
  ~ Philip Yancey, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?

Whew. I think it’s okay to rely on a good habit.

I do it because it’s what I do as I slowly transform into doing it because it’s who I am...His hungry kid with a big appetite for the best food.

* * *

Join us at Ann’s as we prayerfully consider
 the Practice of Making a Habit

13 comments:

Dianna said...

Great post, Lisa! Thanks for shedding the light on a VERY important "habit". It truly is a necessary habit!

GlowinGirl said...

May we always remain hungry for Him!!

Shaunie Friday--Up the Sunbeam said...

I really like this Lisa, and the Yancey quote was right on time for me! Thank you!

Barbara H. said...

I read an Elisabeth Elliot e-mail devotional a few days ago where she wrote that some people felt spirituality wasn't genuine or natural unless it was spontaneous, and she was arguing that discipline and duty and planning went into it as well. This is a good habit.

I wrote something a while back about having no hunger for God's Word here:
http://barbarah.wordpress.com/2007/03/18/when-there-is-no-hunger-for-gods-word/

Craig said...

That is such good food Lisa. And praying when we feel the prayers are only hitting the ceiling - that's when I've found I(we)need the prayer the most - same for the eating.

God Bless

Cherry said...

I really appreciated reading this ... thanks so much! And the quote by Philip Yancey was so good. I think I will copy it into my journal (on my laptop). Thanks for the thoughts and the encouragement with good habits ...

Daily Grace said...

How wonderful to refer to the many books of the Bible as a menu (indirectly of course)! Something sweet to start brings the Psalms to mind and refreshing books bring Acts to mind.

I would love to eat the nourishing verses of scripture just for a snack! And wow, my figure might start to look a little better too!

How delightful!!

Trisha said...

Lisa,
I absolutely LOVE this post. My nourishment starts in the morning before everyone is awake, but as you know, it lasts all day. Beautiful words and a most soul-necessary habit.

Connie Mace said...

"He’s life-giving and I want to fill up on Him and His holiness."...oh yes...GOD breathed words friend.

Lisa notes... said...

Barbara,
Yes! Discipline and plans and routines do NOT mean the Spirit is not moving as he wills. He is very capable of moving IN the discipline and IN the plans and IN the routines just as much as he can move in spontaneity.

Thanks for your link to “When there is no hunger”—you bring up excellent points about why we lose our appetite for God’s word.

Brian Miller said...

i need to eat more...smiles.

Courtney Walsh said...

What a great reminder.

I'm with Brian. I need to eat more too...

emily wierenga said...

you always hit the nail on the head, lisa. i love your heart. so pure and true. thank you for linking, and for convicting us.

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