Creatures of habit

By Helen Guilford

I got up this morning knowing my week’s schedule had gone awry – Monday morning had to take on Tuesday’s regular job. I went about my usual morning chores – brush my teeth, make the bed, read my morning devotionals, pick up the kitchen, wash the dishes – you know, all those things that are so ingrained they just get done without much thought.

As is her habit, Bebe came to share my chair for a while before I started all those things. I was almost finished making my bed when I wondered where she was. I found her. As is her habit, she had stayed comfortably cuddled in her part of the chair we share in the living room.

I was farther along in my bed making than usual when she came asking for a “butt boost” to get on the bed. She stayed there while I finished and didn’t stir until I came to the computer – also my next habit of the morning. She has a bed here and just curls up and keeps me company as I check email, write a column or work a jigsaw puzzle.

Routines. Habits. Whatever you call them, they are part of our lives. For the most part, they are probably good and assist getting all those things done that need to be done.

On occasion, however, time gets away from us and we have to skip some part of the usual routine. Let’s see – what can wait? Some things simply have to be done – I hate having someone drop in and finding my bed unmade by mid morning or later. What must they think of me? Brushing my teeth can’t wait either. Neither can combing my hair. What can wait and not wreak havoc?

Oh! My devotions can wait. God won’t care if I take care of all these essentials before spending time with Him! I can do that when I have time later in the day.

Now, we’re talking about habits here. How easily we can slip into letting our devotional time be put on the back burner, so to speak! And before we know it, we’re days behind in our reading and worshiping. When I sense that happening, I often think of this poem I learned many years ago:

“I met God in the morning

when my day was at its best.

And His presence came like sunshine

like a glory in my breast.

All day long, His presence lingered,

All day long He stayed with me.

And we sailed in perfect calmness

o’er a very troubled sea.

Other ships were blown and battered,

Other ships were sore distressed.

And the wind that seemed to blow them

Brought us a peace and rest.

Then I thought of other mornings,

With a deep remorse of mind

When I, too, had loosed the moorings

With His presence left behind.

So I think I’ve learned the secret

Learned o’er many a troubled way.

I must meet God in the morning

If I want Him through the day.

Rev. Ralph Cushman

By Helen Guilford