Going for two in a row.

(Part of a series this week on choosing to learn. First published April 3, 2013)

As we make changes in our lives, we need to relax into the routines. We need to learn to take our actions from “days in a row” to “weeks in a row” to “months in a row” to “seasons in a row.”

Here’s what I mean:

If you have talked with God for one day in a row, then talking with him on the next day makes it two days in a row. That is a wonderful thing. Go for three days in a row. And then seven.

If you took a Sabbath one week, taking a Sabbath day the next week makes it two weeks in a row. That is a great thing. Now go for three weeks. And then seven.

If you exercised each day for a month, then exercising on the first day of the next month means you are on your way to two months in a row. Amazing. Now go for three months. And then six.

If you spent last Lent anticipating Easter and Advent anticipating Christmas, then you have been working on anticipation for two seasons in a row. Go for three by anticipating Lent.

If you had the best Advent ever, the best Christmas ever, the best Lent ever, the best Easter ever, then you are on your way to years in a row. Look ahead to celebrating next year.

Each “in a row” helps us move toward character, toward having a life of obedience, toward having a reputation, toward having a new routine.

I talked about ritual and routine a year ago. Don’t confuse the creation of new patterns in your life with making God happier with you. But notice that being known to yourself as a person who can keep commitments makes you happier with you.