“Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Unknown
Reinforce such muscle memory so that when your instinct takes over, your body reacts without a thought. If done correctly, it can be a valuable skill for an athlete. It could manifest itself as an outstanding jump shot or a devastating collection of bad habits.
The same could be said of our heart muscle. A child is born with the ability to love and can make friends with anyone. It is the effect of our surroundings that teach us to love or hate, determine friend or foe, to respect or despise.
Our hearts were created to love but have been trained to hurt, to fear, or to revisit convenient sins, out of pain, fatigue or sheer apathy. There is heart muscle memory, both good and bad, but in the process of training the good, we must untrain the bad.
A friend once told me that anything you see becomes a forever retained memory. But just as color has faded from my hair, so have memories, only to reappear in the midst of troubled sleep. Yet the point still remains: be careful what you see.
You will breathe out what you breathe in. A battle rages between the ears, but remember: It only takes one letter to change “repeat” to “repent”.
It is said that repetitive actions require one to two months to become habit, whether good or bad. Repentant thoughts are similar. What you see, watch, read or listen to over time will direct your steps and your outlook on life.
The Lenten season is traditionally a 40 day period of fasting, reminiscent of Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness before beginning His ministry. It is a time of self-reflection and sacrifice, honoring the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. Hallelujah.
Don’t just wait for Easter to make a change, commit to a month’s time to reflect, not just the burden of giving up a bad habit, but instill a new habit. Capture every thought and see if it leads you to the place you want to be. Carve out time to read each day. Take time to create. Enjoy the sunrise and ponder great thoughts. Change the radio station, or turn it off completely and use your commute to commune with God. Pray as you fall asleep and pray as you wake.
Training takes commitment and hard work. Untraining takes just as much if not more. The result in both cases is worth the effort.
Training and Untraining my heart
And Blessed in Great Measure
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