Scaffolding was a common sight when we lived in Denver. It lined many budding buildings that dotted the skyline. One such building was Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Cathedral Basilica, the seat of the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver, is an iconic church just blocks from the Colorado State Capital building in downtown Denver. When Megan and I lived in Denver, Cathedral Basilica’s twin spires were lined with scaffolding for some much needed restoration work. Cathedral Basilica was just one of many buildings with scaffolding during our time in Denver. While some buildings were going to be condos or apartments and others were going to be office space, there was one thing that all these buildings had in common. Scaffolding was instrumental in each building's construction.
Habits are like scaffolding.
Just like scaffolding is instrumental in the construction of a building, habits are instrumental in the construction of our character. Not only does scaffolding support workers while they work on the exterior of a building, it also serves as an important resource for workers while they work. It serves as a place to store materials, and it protects workers from the dangers of working at great heights. Habits do this for us too. They offer us support. They help us build systems that organize our lives and bring us pleasure.
Habits form us whether we like it or not. We can’t change the fact that humans are creatures of habit; it’s just part of how we work. However, we can learn to leverage habits to form us into the kind of person we want to be. It seems like every night I come downstairs after getting the kids to bed and the first place I go is the snack cabinet. I don’t do this because I’m hungry. I often don’t even realize I’m doing it. It’s just a habit.
What habits shape your life? Are they conducive to building the type of character to which we are called along the Jesus way? What sorts of habits form your spiritual life? What sorts of habits help you find the way of Jesus? As we enter the next decade, I challenge you to think about habits and to leverage them in your spiritual life. Together, may we be shaped into the image of Jesus as we follow him and invite others to join us on our journey down the way of Jesus.