I haven’t read a complete book in one day since… I don’t know how long. But I had a quiet, no-urgent-task Saturday, a beautiful fresh-breeze sunny day, and an empty back-porch couch all to myself. And I had a great book – full of hopeful words that drew me in and nourished my soul.
It was a powerful combination –
one that doesn’t happen often.
I almost gave up on The Common Rule at first. It seemed a bit over-simplified, and after many heart-wrenching, mind-numbing, complex, and challenging years, I am not a big fan of the “just do this…” kind of answers. However, the more I read, the more Justin Whitmel Earley captured me with his vulnerable honesty and his grasp of reality as he offered flexible options that could work for our many-varied steps on the journey.
Early writes about habits.
Habits of purpose,
habits that counter our decision fatigue,
practices that “form our hearts” and lead us to love.
He recommends eight habits in the book. Those practices focus on loving God and others and refreshing our hearts while resisting the easy-to-fall-into tendencies that wear us down.
The habits are not about legalistic rituals. Instead, Early suggests they can help battle self-condemnation, anxiety, isolation, hurriedness, and injustice. The habits lead us toward peace, gratefulness, compassion, deeper relationships, and rest. Which one of us doesn’t long for those things?
Earley’s habits are as simple as having one meal with others each day or turning off the phone for one hour a day. But they are not easy.
The most ordinary habits of limitation create
the most extraordinary lives of meaning.
So far, I have implemented only parts of his suggested habits into my days, but I am encouraged because even those have made a difference. In these days of so much uncertainty, chaos, and loss of routine, regular life-giving habits can help build the resilience we need for the long-term changes we have in front of us. They certainly gave me hope, and I think adding some habits of purpose into your life might give you hope too.
If you have read the book or read it now, please share with me what you thought about it. I’d love to hear from you.
What helpful habits do you have in your life?
Hi! I’m Terry, married to Steve and mother of four adult children. I have worked with Cru for almost 40 years, 20 of those years in Latin America. I am passionate about helping people find grace, hope, and growth by walking closely with Jesus. As part of that passion, I coach and train ministry leaders worldwide and create resources to help others grow. You will often find me in our patio garden, processing life with Jesus, with a cup of strong, black coffee in hand.
*This post was originally published on Maturitas Cafe blog.