Rhythms Eat Resolutions

Welcome to 2019 and happy new year!

I spent Christmas with my family. We shared a house with my brother’s family. It was great to catch up. One of the random conversations we had was about typing speed. I’m convinced that typing as we currently know it will not be a thing in a decade or two. You’ll either dictate everything or use your thumbs on a screen. Keyboards will be special tools used by programmers and old people like me. He didn’t agree, and that’s fine. His argument was that he could never type as fast on a phone as he could on a keyboard. He was probably right, but I wanted to know how fast he could type. Come to find out, my brother is a savant typist. When we took his tested speed and compared it to the rest of the world he was in the top .02% of people. I was blown away. After a few tests, the best I could do was 47 words a minute. Lame.

Then I asked him, “Can you describe to me where the letter ‘B’ is on the keyboard?” He thought for a minute and began typing in the air. This dude who can type 90+ words a minute had to stop and think where the letter ‘B’ was on the keyboard! That’s so weird, right? And it’s nothing against him, it’s completely normal. Most of us probably have a hard time picturing where a single letter is on the keyboard. Why? Because in all our years of typing, we never learned the keyboard, we learned a reservoir of words. Our fingers know where the keys to those words are even when our consciousness doesn’t. How? Through muscle memory, habit, and rhythm.

Typing isn’t the only activity in your life like this. Most things we do often become reflex where we no longer have to think to accomplish them. As Charles Duhigg points out, in his book The Power of Habit, the problem is that the human brain does not distinguish between good and bad rhythms. Often in the new year, we set out resolutions: lose weight, read x amount of books, get ripped, begin running, or read the Bible in a year. The problem is that we often don’t change our life rhythms to match our resolutions and we inevitably fail. Because rhythms eat resolutions for lunch.

In our new series "Rhythms," we’re going to look at our spiritual lives. We’re going to examine the ultimate goal of the Christian life and then begin shaping new rhythms and habits that will get us to that goal. Tomorrow we start in one of my favorite passages, Philippians 3:7-14. I hope you’ll join us!

Tomorrow is potluck lunch! We’d love for you to join us after service for lunch in the cafeteria. Bring a dish and share.