The mistake folks are making in this rough hour is trying to figure out how to fit a little more of God into their crowded lives.
We need to do the opposite. Start with God, center your life on him, and work outward from there. Our spirituality moves from something that is part of our life to the epicenter of our life—from which all other things flow, and to which all other plans yield.
Plan to become the most converted person your friends and family know. So why don’t we go ahead and call this the new monasticism—rearranging our days to be centered around our life in God, drawing upon his strength for our resilience. It’s the only way we’re going to make it.
[Daniel] went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. (Daniel 6:10)
“Just as he had always done”—in other words, this was his normal routine, not an exceptional moment. The resilience Daniel showed in a dark culture (and in the lions’ den) was built in his daily practices. Pausing to pray morning, noon, and night was habitual for him. And that’s the key—it’s the things that become habitual that shape our lives.
If we have made God our priority and we have a history of tapping into him, then we are in a much better position to draw upon his resilience when crisis comes. If we have tinkered with our spiritual life, if it has not been a priority, troubled times wake us up and urge us to prioritize God now.
We need some new habits (or the recollection of old habits) that fit within our daily routine. Let me quickly add that whatever we take on now to help with our recovery and resilience has to be realistic or we won’t sustain it. Here’s something simple and sustainable: set your phone alarm so that three times a day you stop, love God, and give him your allegiance.
I love you, God. I love you, God. I love you.
I give you my allegiance. I choose you over all things.
Give me the strength that prevails.