Breaking Old Habits

The shrill buzz of an alarm jolted me awake. I sat up in bed, trying to get my bearings on the day. It was still dark outside, and the clock flashed 5:00 AM.

iceberg2“Oh, yeah, I was going to exercise before work.” Dragging my body to an aerobics class or power-walking after work proved improbable. I excused myself for one reason or another — too tired, too busy with other chores, or too focused on some project I wanted to finish. I pushed exercise lower and lower on the priority list. For the last four weeks, I changed my routine and exercised first thing every morning.

“Maybe not today,” I said for the fourth day in a row. Falling back on the pillow, I pulled the covers over my head, and hoped to claim another hour’s sleep.

Sleep didn’t come. Instead, I lay awake under the comforter, realizing I had drifted away from my new routine. I had slipped into my old habit of skipping exercise when it was too inconvenient or too uncomfortable to make happen.

The author of Hebrews understood the danger of giving up new routines or new beliefs when challenged or enticed by an easier path. Struggling with their new faith, his audience leaned toward a hybrid, a blend of Christ and old religious habits. A compromise of who they were called to be and who they wanted to be. They drifted off course.

We, too, can drift spiritually. We may grow lax in daily time with God when busy. Skim the surface or ignore altogether how a sermon or lesson applies to our daily life. The roots of old habits can run deep, so we create a hybrid faith … one easier to practice and that compromises our desires of the heart with His. We look for solutions and consolation in this world’s words instead of direction in His Words.

So, I threw the covers back and recommitted to starting my day with exercise. I focused on how it re-energized me and gave me a sense of well-being after just 30 minutes. I decided to stay the course.

“It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off.” (Hebrews 2:1, The Message)

What helps you shake old habits and stay the course?

©2013 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.


About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
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2 Responses to Breaking Old Habits

  1. Joy says:

    Gloria, I know it honors God when we take good care of our bodies – that includes buffeting them! And you will think more clearly and get more done when you’ve energized yourself. My daughter helps me stick to our exercise routine. She learned in the military “Respect the routine.” We do it first thing, too, before we have time to think about it!

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