How on earth is it possible that it is already halfway through the third week of Easter, , that is a very real question, because I have no idea where time is going, and I say that as someone with a lot of time on her hands at the moment, or so it seems. Maybe I am wasting time, I am certainly struggling with time and with inertia, and I reflect just how easy it is to allow habits to drop. A few weeks ago I was getting out to walk most days, but just recently I have hardly walked at all, and I know that that is not good for me. When I ask myself why I don’t have any satisfactory answers, I have the time and the means but have preferred to shut myself away which is not healthy.
Other habits are better, I make time to do my Qi-Gong exercises every morning, I make sure that I take my medication and vitamins, I try to and mostly achieve eating a healthy diet, though I have to fight a craving for certain junk foods. I am keeping up my devotional practice, other reading and journaling, but when I take a good look at that, those are all solitary habits, contained within the 4 walls I inhabit. The four walls give me safety, or a sense of safety anyway. I notice that I lock the front door when behind it, that is very unusual for me, when I look back I have always kept an open house, people have been welcome to just wander in, and they have, my homes have hardly ever been empty as this one is now, apart from myself and the cats. I find I need to summon up energy for social engagements, and while I do enjoy them, as I said yesterday, there comes a time when I need to retreat.
I know that I need to get back to walking, to enjoying that exercise and fresh air, and I know that it will be good for me, it will help me to sleep well, and that will also do me good. I need walking to be a consistent habit, to make time for it in my day, not only now when I have plenty of time to spare, but also in the future when I won’t have as much. When I am out walking I meet others doing the same, we often have a chat, and I enjoy that, I take photos, and share them, I notice the changing seasons, and am connected to the rhythm of the earth! You might realise, as I do, that I am trying to talk myself into getting out again!
I’ve been thinking a lot about habits recently, how easy it is to get into bad habits, and how easy it is to drop good habits, I want to ditch the former and build the latter, I guess that it is a matter of practice, but it is also about asking who I want to be, and how I want to be. Do I want to be physically and mentally well? Do I want to be spiritually aware and awake? Do I want to be one who brings out the God flavours and God colours in the world. If the answer is yes, then I need to take steps to make that happen, and those are all a part of caring for myself in order that I can care for others. Jesus knew this, he made time for prayer, and for silence, for listening and for working. Scripture tells us that he struggled with everything that we do, the urge to leave something aside, lethargy and inertia even, and yet calls us into a fullness of life by following his example.
Now, I am not saying that all I need to do is follow Jesus and my depression will be gone, anymore than I would tell someone with cancer to pray it away, and believe me I have had experience of people making suggestions like that about members of my family, the notion that God responds to our “correct” praying like some weird fairy God-mother is ridiculous and even dangerous as it brings with it so much guilt and shame!
What I am saying is that habits can help me, and I can build upon them, saying no to an extra half-hour in bed will give me more time, deciding that not bingeing on box sets of TV in the evening will give me more time as I will get to bed earlier, and while it’s okay to have a lie in, or to watch a box set now and then, it’s not a good daily habit. I have a choice, and I want to choose life! Maybe I need to simply see it all as worship. Writing to the Romans, Paul encouraged them ( even after admitting his struggles);
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12: 1-2 The Message
That’s what I want, I want to be my best me, I want to embrace fullness of life, I want to overcome my inertia and to really live as well as I can, but obviously to do that I will keep talking to my GP, accept help, and keep taking the tablets!