Friday, September 16, 2016

Find the Pattern

My wife and I attended a church planting conference a few years ago and spoke with a leader who talked about examining the patterns in our lives. He said that analyzing these rhythms would enable us to see how God had worked in our past and the potential for how our future would develop. Since that conversation I've found myself thinking more about the patterns that affect my life and how I've developed them. Some of them are the result of years of influence while others are more recent as I work to make positive changes.

If we are willing to risk taking a closer look, I think we'd discover there are healthy and unhealthy patterns in our life. Some of them are positive building blocks for our future (i.e. exercise, a healthy work/rest balance, and religious practices) while others are detrimental for our health (negative thinking, destructive cycles of addictive behavior, and poor relationship choices.) Often these have become the foundational parts of life without us realizing it.

If we want to make changes in the current state of our lives, we've got to examine the patterns we live by and be willing to replace life draining behaviors with those that are life-giving. This careful introspection isn't easy because it makes us look honestly at the underlying reasons for our choices in thought, speech, attitude, and action. We then begin a lifelong journey of cutting out deep-rooted negativity and substituting better choices. This isn't done overnight, but only through a commitment to escape the cycle of unsatisfactory living.

Refusing to acknowledge and change those patterns condemns us to a journey of repeatedly making the same mistakes.

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