[As a slight disclaimer... I've been meaning to post this for about a month, and just haven't gotten around to it. Not that it makes much difference, but here it is.]
I was reading The Divine Conspiracy (still; it didn't make my packing list for China so it kind of got put on hold) and hit a section on how much sin comes from habits.
I've thought more about habits in the past three months than I probably ever had before, because as soon as we got to China we started realizing that we had all kind of habits that were so deeply engrained we didn't even realize that they were habits, we just thought they were how life was. And we longed to rebuild a similar set of routine habits, so that we could do things like eat and buy groceries and shower on autopilot. It takes a lot of energy to consciously think about everything that we do in the course of a day.
Anyway, I think there is a lot to be said for what was being said in Divine Conspiracy: our habits are so unthought about that it's hard to remember that they exist, and it's hard to put effort into making whole something so ingrained that we've forgotten it's broken.
There are plenty of examples of this. I mean, why does George Bailey never fix the knob on the railing in It's a Wonderful Life? Does he even remember that it shouldn't pop off all the time by the end of the movie? Or last year, I went to a party at a friend's house and fell through one of his porch steps on the way up. Someone mentioned it and his response was along the lines of, “Oh yeah, that's been broken, you just have to skip it.” Or... fix it?
Maybe that was part of what was so radical and vital about the Reformation, the requickening of the idea that God says “Mine” about all of creation. That it's not just about Sundays and holidays and the clergy, but equally about Monday morning and Friday nigh, about the butcher and the baker and the candlestick maker.
That God is just as interested in the money that we don't give in tithes and offerings as He is in the money that we throw into the offering plate.
So the motto of CCO that I grew up around – All of life redeemed – is a precious and beautiful one to have woven into your being.
And I think about Ann Voskamp (www.aholyexperience.com) and yes, how seeking to give thanks for all things at all times – this will protect us from much sin. It forces intentionality about many of the hidden desires of our hearts. It begins making whole what we forgot was there, let alone broken.