Keep it close

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Outside our back door is a table and chairs where I’m aiming to eat as many meals as possible this summer.

Next to the table is a big pot with salad leaves in it. I’ve found that, while my children in general avoid green food (except peas and olives!), they are much more interested in it if they can pick it themselves. We have various veg growing in the garden, but I’m growing these lettuce and rocket leaves right next to our table as I feel we are much more likely to just pick a few and add them to our plate as we munch if they are close by.

This is true for all sorts of things in our family faith at home, and other good habits we want or ourselves. I love Atomic Habits, and this is one of the things he talks about: making habits easy, as our behaviour will usually slip into the easiest route possible, so let’s make the route we want the easiest route! (I’ve written more about this book and how it relates to faith at home habits here.)

Keeping our Bibles out and near a seat we sit in makes us more likely to open and read them.

Keeping the bedtime story book on our bedtime table means we’re more likely to read it.

What else could we do?

Keep a prayer journal close to where we drink our morning coffee.

Keep a worship or Bible verse playlist handy on our phones.

Keep Bible story books out in a basket in the lounge.

Keep a guitar out of its case or a piano lid up so we can quickly play a song.

Keep paints and paper readily available to paint a picture to celebrate God.

I’d love to hear your ideas to add to this, so please comment below!

Now here’s a weird but strangely linked thought:

Did you know that the word most often translated in the Bible as ‘sacrifice’ or ‘offering’ is the Hebrew word’ korban’ which literally means to ‘draw near’ or ‘come close’? Yes! All the rules in Leviticus about offering are all about giving God’s people a reason to come close to him.

As we work on keeping certain physical objects close to enable us to practice spiritual activities, they become like an offering, a means of us drawing close to God in the every day nitty-gritty of our lives. And that’s where God meets us: “Come near to God, and he will come near to you.” James 4:8