My morning routine has been severely interrupted. The lid on my Starbucks coffee mug that keeps my coffee hot fell to the bottom of the dishwasher and rested on the heating element so that it now has a bubble in it where the plastic melted, making it impossible to use. I can still put the lid on, but when I try and drink from it, coffee comes out at me from three locations at once. Not a good thing where hot coffee is concerned.
So the best I can do is keep the lid on to keep the coffee as warm as possible and remove it when I want to drink. This requires two hands to grip the mug and remove the lid and a plate to put it on so I don’t get coffee on the dining room table, and, of course, every time I remove the lid, precious steam is released, cooling the coffee much more rapidly than I like.
Now some of you are thinking I am nuts and probably need a psychiatrist, and you’re most likely right, but I can’t help how I am. Routine is vital to me. Marti treats this as a flaw in my character and makes it her responsibility to get me to change my routine whenever possible. In some instances she is right; in other things, like coffee mugs, it doesn’t really matter.
Where it matters is when the routine is a bad habit that needs to change – a selfishness that needs to be overcome, such as walking away from a responsibility simply because I don’t want to face into it. Avoidance can become a routine. Selfishness can become a routine. Unclean thoughts can become a routine. Daydreaming can become a routine. I could stand to lose the lid on any of these to the heating element in my mental dishwasher. These are routines that are not good for me; they need to change.
It’s timely that I am writing about this because, in fact, I am seeing a psychiatrist today and change is the main thing I want to talk to him about. Fundamental Christians like me have a hard time with things like this because change falls under the category of that which I shouldn’t need anything but the Holy Spirit to do. Going to a psychiatrist is a sign of disbelief. Anything that has to do with the mind is off limits to anything but a spiritual solution.
Here’s what I think. When it comes to overcoming well-ingrained bad habits, I can use all the help I can get. The psychiatrist isn’t going to be able to do anything for me, anyway. When it comes down to it, I’m still the one who is going to have to do all the work here, but if the psychiatrist is smart enough to see around my own tricks, rationalizations and manipulations (and he is), I may be able to have some answers for those things when they come up. In other words, he might be able to help me see a way around my own well-worn excuses.
However, regardless of what I find out today, I am going to have to initiate any change I seek, and when it comes to that, the Holy Spirit is my source of power. I am not usurping the Holy Spirit’s work in my life; I am merely giving Him some more tools to work with.
However you cut it, I’m still the guy who has to do this. Change doesn’t happen to you. (I wish it did.) Change is not passive. It’s active.
So here’s the end result: I’m going to replace my coffee mug, but I’m going to seek change in areas where it matters most. New tricks don’t come easy for old dogs, but with God, all things are possible.