14 December 2014
If you are part of the social media world, you may have seen on facebook that you can take a number of strange and random quizzes, in order to determine things like: which Disney Princess you are, or which genius you are most like. I've seen quizzes that can tell you what kind of dog you would be, what kind of flower you would be and what kind of chocolate bar you would be. And while these may be harmless fun, whenever I see them, I can't help wondering if we shouldn't be asking different questions of ourselves. Like what kind of 'stuck-in-traffic' person am I? Or perhaps what kind of 'deal-with-load-shedding' person am I? Or maybe even, how will I cope when real tragedy comes my way?
The decisions and choices we make now, each day, mould and shape and form us, and have a direct influence on the kinds of people we become. The habits we develop in our lives play a huge part in determining how we cope with things like, traffic, load shedding and even real tragedy. We all recognise that physical exercise and fitness requires intentional strategy – if you want to run the Comrades Marathon, you have to train, a lot. In the same way, our spiritual growth, and our character development require intentional thought and effort. If we are not developing healthy and helpful habits in our lives today, we will spend our days reacting to whatever life throws at us. And sometimes we react badly.
So, what can we do to be more intentional about the kinds of people we want to be? Well, one author says it all starts with the way we think: 'our thoughts become our actions, our actions become our habits, and our habits become our character.' What are you thinking on? What are you reading at the moment? What fills the spaces in your life? Don't wait until January 1 to start putting new and intentional habits and practices into your life. Start now. Let this Advent season be a time of new birth for us, even as Jesus is born into our lives and into the world again.