Developing Spiritual Habits

Ever since I got out of college I’ve been doing “year-end reviews.” I’ve found they help me see how far I’ve come in a year, and they help me to remember the good things in life as well as the bad. This was particularly important when I was in my 20s and struggling to figure out what I wanted in life. They’re more subtle now, for a variety of reasons, but I still find them helpful.

As I finished up my review of last year, I was searching for a high-level summary or an overall theme – what will (or should) I remember about 2008 in 20 or 30 years? I had no major accomplishments last year and I had no major disasters. I did a lot of fun, interesting and educational things; I had some difficult, unpleasant problems. But nothing really stands out.

And then it hit me – 2008 was the year when religious practice, observations and study became normal behavior for me. It’s no longer a big deal that I’m doing nightly prayers, that I’m reading theology, spirituality and religious history books, or that I participated in three Winter Solstice services in three nights. I did all those things and I didn’t think anything about them – it’s just what I do any more.

That’s not as much fun as being able to say “I ran a marathon last year” or “I went to England,” but perhaps it’s laying the foundation for future growth that will be more fun to write about. Or so I hope.

May 2009 bring peace and blessings to us all!

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