Pastor's Blog

The Power of Habit

“We are all living in accordance to a specific regimen of habits, and those habits shape most of our life.”

This quote from Justin Earley’s book The Common Rule acknowledges that habits are the automatic and unconscious behaviors that we all live by.  Some of those habits may be good and some of them are not so good.  But make no mistake about it, we all have habits we live by.

I like the way Annie Dillard put it.  She said, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.  What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.  A schedule defends from chaos and whim.  It is a net for catching days.  It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.”

And so, our habits are how we stand up and get our hands on time.  It is how we are able to get our hands on our purpose. 

Consider what Justin Earley says in his book The Common Rule

“All those who want to be attentive to who they are becoming must realize that formation begins with a framework of habits.

It’s utterly important to learn the right theological truths about God and neighbor, but it is equally necessary to put that theology into practice via a rule of life.  You can’t believe truth without practicing truth, and vice versa. You can’t know who Jesus is without following Jesus, and vice versa.  To live with only one or the other of these things is to live as a half-human being.

Only when your habits are constructed to match your worldview do you become someone who doesn’t just know about God and neighbor but someone who actually loves God and neighbor.”

During our 50 Days of Spiritual Growth – From Easter to Pentecost we are going to be working through the book The Common Rule. 

It is “common” in that it is geared to the “common man.” 

And by “rule” we don’t mean that it is following a list of rules.  Instead, the word rule refers to what is “regular.”  What are the regular rhythms of your life that help you to love God and love others?

This Sunday, I will be sharing more about the book and the common habits it invites us to embrace. 

I would like to invite you to consider the following:

  1. Buy the book and read it with us during this 8-week journey - The Common Rule.
  2. Process through the book in community – with someone else.
  3. Give it a try! Habits form our hearts.  And so quite literally, they reveal what we worship.  So, if we put it that way, this is no small thing!  This gets to the very core of living.

A Prayer to Guard our Words

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Consider praying through this prayer today.

O God, you are my God; I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.  Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips shall praise you.

Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous ordinances.  Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.

How can young people keep their way pure?  By guarding it according to your word.

Make me know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.  Lead me in truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.

Keep my steps steady according to your promise, and never let iniquity have dominion over me.

O Lord, who may abide in your tent?  Who may dwell on your holy hill?  Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart; who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors; in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honor those who fear the Lord; who stand by their oath even to their hurt; who do not lend money at interest and do not take a bribe against the innocent.  Those who do these things shall never be moved.

Let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.  Amen.

WEFC Pathway to Opportunity

PLEASE WATCH THIS 10-minute video that explains how you can be involved in helping us reach out with the love of Christ to the minority and immigrant communities of Wethersfield.

What is the Pathway we will take?

  1. Prayer: Seeking God’s guidance
  2. Presence: Celebrate the existing diversity of the WEFC family
  3. People: Build relationships with the minority and immigrant communities of Wethersfield
  4. Process: Promote discussion to gain better understanding to the needs around us
  5. Program: Identify a sustainable ministry that meets some of the needs of our community

If you would like to help us towards this purpose, please join us for a Zoom meeting on Thursday, March 11 at 7:00 pm. 

You can register here.