Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday After Ash Wednesday

Deuteronomy 30: 15-20, Psalm 1, Luke 9: 22-25

Then, speaking to all, he said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, will save it. What benefit is it to anyone to win the whole world and forfeit or lose his very self?’

Jesus knows us well when he tells us to renounce ourselves and take up our cross every day. Anyone who has tried to start a new habit knows that change requires constant turning and returning in the direction we mean to go. This process can feel disheartening, but we might alternatively view it as a continually open door. We are invited and re-invited to continue, humbly and gratefully, in our good work. Jesus knows that we cannot change our lives in an instant, so he simply calls us to return to him each day and try again.

In 1960, Dr. Maxwell Maltz gave this advice for adopting a new routine: “The essence of the technique is simply to devote 15 minutes a day to the formation of any habit you wish to establish, and do this faithfully for 21 days. By the fourth week, it should actually be harder not to engage in the new behavior than it would be to continue doing it."

What promising news! With Jesus’ encouragement to keep trying and this sage advice, let us embark on this season of Lent together with hope and courage. Reading each day from this Guide, let us remember our shared Communion as we strive to deepen ourselves, our relationships with each other, and our relationships with God.

Hannah Trible

1 comment:

  1. Maybe this also explains the success of the book "How to Write your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day."