The Decision and the Next Steps

Quick! Yesterday’s post…how long does it take to change?

A nanosecond. Remember.

I dislike using old “church” terms. The words have acquired so much unnecessary baggage that the true meaning is lost.

Reading in The Shepherd of Hermes, one of the earliest documents used for discipleship training. “To repent is great understanding.”

Repent is one of those church words that conjure unhelpful pictures in the mind. Better is “to change direction.”

“I was on this path. Then I made a decision to change. Now I am on this path.”

After that nanosecond to change, how long does it take to incorporate that change into your life? The rest of your life. A minute at a time.

Sometimes living in times that force us out of our usual daily routine sharpens our awareness of our wrong path. We decide to change. Or someone you are around more than usual points out your need for change, and the thought sinks into awareness. We come to that point. We decide to change.

That is where these books on discipleship and spiritual practices become our guides. Even books such as Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit are a great help.

All will explain that living the change is not easy. There is no instantaneous moment when I stopped being a jerk and became a nice guy. But there was a moment when I recognized my failure. And the moment burned into memory. And when I have an opportunity to be a jerk or a good person, I start picking the right way.

And then, I understand.

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