I recently took up knitting and despite my initial hesitation have found it quite simple and relaxing. I was sitting on the couch one afternoon working on a scarf for my son and realized how repetitive knitting is. At least for a beginner, you are doing the same thing, over and over and then over again.. I promise it’s not as boring as I’m making it sound in case you want to learn!
But as I sat knitting, I began meditating on repetition. There’s a saying credited to Albert Einstein that says “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. While I understand what is meant by this line of thought, I’m beginning to disagree.
As I’m knitting and making the needles move, in essence, doing the same thing over and over, I’m actually guaranteed to get a different result. My ball of yarn will gradually turn into a completely different item. My consistency in knitting the same stitches over and over will yield a different result. EVERY TIME.
This is a lot like our Christian walk. Disciplines like prayer and Bible reading seem like small habits we incorporate daily but these small habits create big change in our lives when prioritized. I can tell the difference when I’ve started my day with time talking with God and when I’m too hurried to take the time. I can tell the difference between when I’ve spent time in God’s word and when I’ve just gone through the motions of opening my Bible.
In regards to faith, it’s always been doing the same thing and expecting different results. We serve a consistently faithful God and he honors our consistency when we pray, fast, read and give. Our consistency shows our faithfulness to be doers of his word and not merely hearers.
We have to be careful not to confuse consistency with complacency. Consistency is simply placing a priority on the daily need for God in our lives. Complacency leans more towards going through the motions and expecting God’s favor because we’ve checked it off of our list. God doesn’t owe us anything and there is no amount of work we can do to earn his favor. As his children, our desire should be to love and obey him, and we do that by communing regularly with him and learning his will through his word.
So am I insane if I pray daily and expect to receive the different promises and graces I need for that day? Am I insane if I read through my Bible every year and expect God to reveal himself in a different way (and he does!)? Am I insane when I tithe whether the month is tight or their is surplus and expect God to provide however he sees fit (and he always does!)? If you asked Einstein, maybe I would be. But to me, I’m insanely in love with God and he honors doing the same RIGHT thing over and over!