• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Friday, October 29, 2010


I love waffles. I made some for breakfast today!
I love blueberries, too!

When I bake them I use the timer on my microwave to let me know the perfect time for a perfect waffle. EASY - except -

I have this strange companion, named Habit, that keeps getting in my way.  When the microwave beeps, and I have wandered away and gone on auto-pilot, I tend to open the empty beeping microwave - and look inside BEFORE remembering my waffle.

 (I know myself well enough to plan for the contingency of an irritating continuing beep to ensure my kitchen has no smoke damage and that I eventually get breakfast).

How many things do you do on auto-pilot? I have tried to open my front door by clicking the remote for my car - weird, I know!
Make your own list.  You know you have one - or more.

A few years ago our kitchen floor was replaced.  As is often the case, there was a 'hitch-in-the-get-along' and instead of taking a couple days my frig stayed in the garage for 2 weeks or more.  When it returned to its rightful domain my sons would come home and go straight to the frig - still in the garage, right? NOT!

One day one of them stuck their head into the kitchen and asked me, "Mom, do you have any idea what I came out to the garage for?" I laughed and pointed to it.

He had built a strong continuing habit in a only a few days!

Since that time I notice habits more - my own and yours.  Some are funny (taking a bite of something because it is in your hand - or trying to write with it - icky either way).  Some are down right scary - have you ever driven somewhere and realized after you got there that you set out to go somewhere else and that where you arrived is where you usually go on a regular basis? One day I needed to pick up my child and drove halfway to town (in the opposite direction) before I realized I was on auto-pilot.  Scary to think other drivers are paying that same amount of attention or less ...

Prophets tell us regular scripture study and prayer are beneficial habits. My 2 year old grandchild gets 'her' scriptures and demands our nightly routine if we miss it. She opens an inexpensive copy on her lap, points at pictures, and recites a verse as it is read slowly for her to parrot. She wants to take a turn like everyone else in her world is doing.  This habit will print the rythmns and nuances from God's words onto her very soul.

Now she is learning reverence in prayer as her family bows in a circle together. She is just beginning - she will learn that jumping on or yelling in the face of someone kneeling with closed eyes or hitting them will not help her (or those around her) find real happiness. Kind example with gentle teaching and guidance will change her more quickly than any scolding or punishment ever can. For now I imagine Heavenly Father smiles at her naivety.

I hope he smiles at mine. I pray he will patiently and gently help me learn the things that will help me and others find genuine joy - here and now as well as more enduring and lasting happiness - help me build beneficial habits of obedience and diligence.

All his commandments are intended to lovingly guide me and assist me to that end. Prophets tell us that his work and his glory are to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man - our joy and our happiness.

I learned, as a child, many things that I habitually take for granted.  I know the reality of a supreme being - a loving, kind, generous, devoted Father in Heaven. I know I can talk to him and with him. The habits of my parents and grandparents, influenced by the habits of generation upon generation of their parents and grandparents, are now passed to a new generation.

Yet each generation must chose for itself its own habits - its own companions.

What companions of habit walk by your side? compassion or addiction? generosity or gluttony/greed? thankfulness or ingratitude?

Each of us have a few strange companions.  I seek good companions - habits that are better practices. We can know and define them easily. Service and kindness were the practice and repeated examples that Jesus Christ lived.  His actions brought light and life to himself and all people at all times.  He lived the perfect example.  As I read about it, learn from it and study that example I find habits that are not such strange companions at all.