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Habits of Life

March 15, 2022

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16, NIV).

I was in the middle of my day, caring for patients, when Becky called and told me our daughter wanted us to watch her kids last night. I call them my “grumpkins,” and they bring more value and joy into my life than any other blessing. But, going home from a long workday to manage them instead of relaxing to let that workday flow off my tightly banded head would be an emotional hurdle. So, I was not as excited as I should have been when we drove to pick them up. The evening ended up with me on the couch, the youngest on my right and the next youngest on my left, each wanting me to squeeze them tightly when the suspense in their children’s movie increased, each hugging me with love as I left their home, all four having blessed me with a moment of joy and value I would have missed had I followed my emotions and stayed home.

We all have habits of life that we settle into to find comfort. Going home and relaxing after a long day of medical crises is one of mine.

Such habits of life are indeed rewarding, but they sometimes interfere with God’s plan for my best and His work.

I would have loved to have stayed home last night and watch the news, doze off for 15 minutes while doing so, chat casually with my wife and feel the day of intensity lift from my shoulders. It took energy to overcome the inertia of settling into that life habit. My wife kicked my backside to provide that necessary energy, and I was overly blessed by changing course for the evening.

We all have such habits of life, some full of rest and others full of activity. We often develop them for good reasons. The problem comes when we let the inertia of settling within those habits prevent us from doing better things God has planned for us.

What habits of life might be keeping me from—?
Visiting my neighbor…
Calling my college roommate…
Volunteering for a monthly spot at the local food bank or Christian health clinic…
Starting a home Bible study…
Choosing a friend to pray with regularly…
Memorizing Scripture…
Writing a letter to my kids…
Spending another evening with my grandkids…

How often does a thought pop into your mind of a good thing God might have you do? It seems like such a great idea, but then it’s smothered by habits of living. I need to enjoy my life habits when appropriate and rise up from them when God calls. I thank my wife for kicking me out of my usual this time and leading me to another night with the grumpkins.

Dear God,
When you call, let me listen and change directions.

Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

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