Creatures of habit tend to get satisfaction out of doing things they are in the habit of doing. For years, I have set up the coffee, swept the floor and walked the dogs as part of my nighttime ritual. I’ve only missed completing those things a handful of times. Accomplishing them makes me feel settled. I bet you have things you do, every evening, that mark the end of the day. Do you make school lunches, re-set the couch pillows, start the dishwasher or take out the trash? Whatever you do, the behavior sets a pattern that becomes familiar, maybe even calming.
It’s comforting to know that the coffee is going to be waiting as soon as I get up. That way, I don’t have to fumble around fixing it in my early morning state of grogginess. During my pre-coffee years, I had energy to spare. Now, admittedly, the early morning hit of caffeine helps me start the day. Years ago, I was at the the gym working out at 6 am. I’d rush out the door without giving the Lord a second thought, let alone a first. Thankfully, some of that high intensity energy has dissipated, leaving room for a little wisdom to creep in, at least enough to know that putting the Lord first every day is most important. Now, when I set up the coffee, I renew the commitment to spend time with Him the next morning. It’s comforting to know He will be waiting for me to sit with Him and His Word while I have my first cup.
Have you ever noticed that debris from the outside makes its way in, no matter how hard you try to keep it out? Even if your family takes their shoes off at the door, bits and pieces get tracked in, especially if you live in the country and have children and pets. Not only do you have the stuff that migrates in from outside, you have all the miscellaneous bits that are generated internally. Does anyone else have a child who loves to make bracelets? I’ve swept up enough miniature rubber bands, in all the colors of the rainbow, to stretch around the earth. If I didn’t sweep every night, before long, I’d be hiring a bulldozer to clear paths.
Have you ever noticed that debris from the world makes its way into your soul, no matter how hard you try to keep it out? Worldly influences, temptations, and sugar coated lies get tracked into who you are. Not only do you have to battle those things, you have to acknowledge the internal humanity of self that creates sinful debris. Lately, when I sweep my floor, I think through all the times I messed up that day, asking my Father to forgive me for impatient tones, selfish desires and wayward thoughts. I ask Him to sweep those things away and leave a clean surface that He can write His name and characteristics on. I’m so thankful that daily confessions ARE NOT required to keep my salvation solid. Salvation is secure from the moment we first believe, because it all depends on what Jesus did, not on what we did or do. However, the quality of the relationship with our Father does depend on keeping a clean “floor.” Un-confessed sin is like debris that gets in the way of communication, blessing and growth.
1 John 1:9-10 says: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and the truth is not in us.
Finally, before the doors are locked up for the night, I take Frosty and Copper out for their last walk of the day. Oscar the cat is waiting to join us. Human, feline and canines walk into the softness of the night. Sometimes, I take a flashlight, or sometimes not, if the moon-glow is bright. I know each day is a gift, but I’m developing the habit to breathe in the day God has given me during those last moments of wakefulness.
Are the stars especially bright? Is there a ring around the moon? Does the scent of honeysuckle clothe the night air? How does the breeze feel against my skin? Perhaps the fireflies are flickering like Christmas lights hung throughout the woods and dotting the meadow like tiny, twinkling stars captured in the grass. I soak it up and bring it back inside. God’s gifts nestled, in my heart, remind me that my Savior is also Creator, and that the hand that guides me is the same one that stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and that the voice which knows my name is the same voice which makes the wind and waves obey.
If you are His child, through Jesus Christ, He guides you, too, and is waiting for you to seek Him. He gives you each moment in this life and died for each moment of your eternity. Such love must be remembered. Make it part of your habit to weave Him into the fabric of the simple tasks of life. Set up the coffee. Sweep the floor. Walk the dogs. Remember Him.