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Creatures of habit

Did you hear about the nun who used to volley her clothes into the laundry bin every day? Last I heard she had kicked the habit! Come on folks, you only have yourselves to blame for reading this! Anyway, I wonder what kinds of bad habits you might have? I’m pretty certain that all of us have some things we keep doing that we would rather not do. That’s just universal human behaviour. Even the apostle Paul seemed to get bogged down in bad habits that he wished he could change: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15).

On the other hand, I’m sure that each of you also has plenty of good habits too. We sometimes focus more on our negative patterns of behaviour rather than the positive stuff. But each one of us has the potential to change and to put in place new ways of acting and doing things. Psychologists reckon that it takes on average around 66 days for a person to form a new habit of behaviour. That’s not to say it’s an easy process, but the rewards do come if we stick in there.

I guess this period of living with COVID-19 has thrown a lot of our existing habits out of the window. Living through lockdown and restrictions has meant that we’ve all had to change and adapt and find new ways of living. For some people, that has meant getting out of the habit of coming along to Church on a regular basis. That’s not something new, because the author of Hebrews wrote these words to some of the earliest followers of Jesus: “Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more” (Hebrews 10:25). It can be all too easy to fall out of the habit of meeting together as Christians, especially during this time of COVID restrictions. But I would urge you to take up the habit of coming along to Church again, either on a Sunday morning or to our WOW service on Wednesdays. Watching online is a great substitute, especially if we don’t have any other option. But if you’ve just fallen out of the habit over these past few years, please do try to get back into the pattern of regular church attendance again. We would love to see you there.

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