The Pharisees let their habit of hand washing over shadow Jesus’ word to love one another. We have habits too that at times overtake our lives.
Some of us might have the habit of comfort, the habit of least resistance. At the end of our work we plop down in front of the television set or the computer screen, and hours go by. Over the course of the week we can waste a great deal of time. We never stop to ask ourselves, “What could I accomplish if I spent that time in another way?” I could call a friend that I’ve been meaning to talk to. I could ask the kids how things went in school. I could exercise. I might even find a way of serving my neighbor. All of these things are real possibilities, real options for our time. But we never seize them, because the habit of inactivity, the habit of least resistance, kicks in.
Some of us might have the habit of forgetfulness. We live every day with people in our family, we see our friends often, but we forget how important these people are to us. When was the last time that we remembered why we love our spouse? When was the last time we remembered why we were proud of our children or thankful for our friends? When was the last time we told them so? It is a real possibility to remember and to tell our spouse our love, our children our pride, our friends our thankfulness. These are real options for action in our lives, but all too often we do not seize them because the habit of forgetfulness takes those opportunities away. We live from day to day without ever recognizing the blessings that we have been given.