I reached down and picked up the bottle, squeezed a small amount onto my hand, placed in on my hair and began rubbing to create a lather. Only, there was no lather. Eh? Was my hair really that dirty it couldn’t even lather…! I reached down and squeezed some more into my hand to repeat and hopefully achieve a lather this time.
But just as I closed the bottle and placed it back on the side of the bath I realised what the problem was. I wasn’t putting shampoo on my hair, it was conditioner. No wonder it didn’t lather. Phew! My hair wasn’t completely filthy after all!
The only problem now was that I had a hand full of conditioner and I still needed to somehow shampoo my hair without wasting this conditioner. Insert crazy one handed bottle holding, squeezing and closing, utilising knees, feet and any other available body parts without involving my left hand! I hope at least God gets a chuckle out of the funny things we do in private moments!
Anyhow, it got me thinking about the things we do just out of habit. Like picking up the bottle on the left first, because that’s usually the shampoo. The things we do without consciously thinking. The things we do just because. Or the things we do because it’s the way we always do it.
I like routine and I like things having a place but do I sometimes revert to doing the same things the same way just because? Habits can sometimes be formed without even realising it. And our habits not only reflect what’s going on inside us but can impact what’s going on around us.
I don’t want to go through my days just doing the same-old-same-old just because that’s the way I’ve always done it. Or because I stopped really thinking about it.
I want to form good habits, healthy habits, godly habits. And that takes time and hard work. It requires thought and conscious decision making. It needs me to stop every now and then and ask why.
Like, why do I get home, and before anything else, sit on the sofa and put the TV on? Which then tends to consume my evening. What else could I be doing with that time? What other habit could I form?
Like, paying attention to the words I say, instead of just saying something as soon as I think of it. What other words could I be saying? What habit could I be building into my interactions with others?
So next time I reach blindly for the bottle of shampoo, hopefully it’ll remind me to stop and think about those things that I do each day without even thinking about it.
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
1 Timothy 6:11 (NIV)