Tradition Or Habit

Except from Wikipedia :

A tradition is a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes (like lawyer wigs or military officer spurs), but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings. Traditions can persist and evolve for thousands of years—the word “tradition” itself derives from the Latin tradere or traderer literally meaning to transmit, to hand over, to give for safekeeping. While it is commonly assumed that traditions have ancient history, many traditions have been invented on purpose, whether that be political or cultural, over short periods of time. Certain scholarly fields, such as anthropology and biology, have adapted the term “tradition,” defining it more precisely than its conventional use in order to facilitate scholarly discourse.

The concept of tradition, as the notion of holding on to a previous time, is also found in political and philosophical discourse. For example, the political concept of traditionalism is based around it, as are strands of many world religions including traditional Catholicism. In artistic contexts, tradition is used to decide the correct display of an art form. For example, in the performance of traditional genres (such as traditional dance), adherence to guidelines dictating how an art form should be composed are given greater importance than the performer’s own preferences. A number of factors can exacerbate the loss of tradition, including industrialization, globalization, and the assimilation or marginalization of specific cultural groups. In response to this, tradition-preservation attempts have now been started in many countries around the world, focusing on aspects such as traditional languages. Tradition is usually contrasted with the goal of modernity and should be differentiated from customs, conventions, laws, norms, routines, rules and similar concepts.

Having considered this, what do you feel as though your traditional, Christian life is like? Have you observed enough traditional Sunday services and repeated them, thousands of times, have they become more of a habit than tradition? Where is this guy going with this? Traditions are wonderful and deeply-rooted portions of our life, right? Yes. But….

As we attend church, study the Bible, hear the word, we tend to grow. But so often is the case, many reach a stalemate or plateau. There comes a moment wherein, we simply lose forward momentum and the actions are nothing more than muscle memory. We continue a cycle of worship liken to brushing our teeth, making coffee or driving our car. They are so engrained as to require no effort, more from habit than tradition.

Is there anything in our relationship with God at this point, differentiating us from the world? We have grown complacently comfortable in our spiritual Snuggie. Cooled down, lukewarm and set apart from progress.

We must ever challenge ourselves to change! Breaking the bonds of normalcy, repetitive,  traditional approaches toward righteousness by understanding one shoe does not fit all. Yes, there are simple, plain truths in the Gospel; I dare not suggest we toss them out the window. What I do say is, if you have come to a point wherein your every trip to church is no different than the last or you are not witnessing, speaking and sharing that is a hint. The type of “Houston, we have a problem” smacked in the face with reality kind of hint that should keep you awake like a neon sign, flashing outside your bedroom window at night.

Never allow your traditional way of thinking, become a conventional way of learning. Push yourself, dig deep. To quote Tony Horton’s P90X motto “Decide. Commit. Succeed.” in that you must make a firm decision to challenge yourself. Commit to the task, by every means afforded you and succeed at what you set forth to do. Not excuses. No prisoners. No holds barred. Win.

I have seen services be as bland as plain, room-temperature oatmeal, on a rainy day. And weeks, months and years later, they are just as traditional as ever. Never veering from protocols, procedures and the “but we always do this at this time on this day” attitude. Order something vibrant! Something you have never had and not sure if you would ever eat or drink. Grow in spirit, in measure of faith in understanding and wisdom. The entire book of Proverbs is summed up as “Seek wisdom and knowledge” for a good reason; it requires perpetual effort and perpetual motion to attain.

Don’t let what you consider to be tradition, hinder you from new occasion, to develop a greater expectation. Never allow habit to preclude you from the daily renewal of spirit.

Thanks for you time and reading. God bless you.

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