In Others’ Words: The Choice Between Habit and Marvel

Life is a marvel. Mansfield. 2014 Habits are highly effective — or so they say.

But there’s something to be said about allowing life to surprise us. Remembering to be wide-eyed. Taking time to marvel at things around us. Or the people we meet during the day.

I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In the midst of running my errands, living my oh-so-daily life — you know, falling into the familiar habit of it all — I can forget to look up and see IMG_0192 Pikes Peak rising just beyond the foothills. It’s right there, waiting for me to notice it, every single day.

But I’m so used to Pikes Peak, I forget. It becomes nothing special and fades into the background. Just another mountain. Nothing to marvel at.

Today’s quote made me stop and think: If I had a choice, would I rather live life as a habit or a marvel? I’d pick marvels over habits every time.

It seems as we grow older, life demands that we spend less time marveling — over a rainbow or a hummingbird or the kindness of a friend or the comfort of silence. Instead, to succeed we must work harder to establish habits: being diligent and proactive and good communicators.

And yet, in the pursuit of helpful habits, what if we lose the spark, the wide-eyed wonder, of seeing life for what it is? A gift. A blessing. A reason to be thankful — every day.

In Your Words: If you had a choice, would you rather live life as a habit or a marvel? What marvelous experience — event, person, thing — jolted you out of your ordinary recently?


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  1. August 11, 2014, 6:50 am   /  Reply

    Marvel is the discovery of the gold ore in the pan, the glint of the rough diamond in the scree.

    Habit is the slow refinement of the metal an the meticulous polishing of the facets that form a ring to be placed upon a trembling finger, to promise love and care before God.

    • August 11, 2014, 12:02 pm   /  Reply

      Love the perspective you provide, Andrew. Yes, both habit and marvel are needed. Absolutely.
      But sometimes habit can become rote … boring … what is easily overlooked … and that is a shame. A wasted day.

  2. August 11, 2014, 7:16 am   /  Reply

    Definitely marvel. Although I am drawn to my habits and like routine. But a few weeks ago we were camping (RVing really) and I have a few special places I like to go at this campground to have my quiet time. One morning I went for a walk in the trails instead of my normal quiet place. I emerged from the trails into this beautiful garden that had never been there in years past. I felt like God was saying, “For you.”

    I am so glad I broke out of my habit that morning and discovered a new marvel 🙂

    I’m also so glad your posts are coming to my yahoo account again, I haven’t been able to get your posts for months, along with several other blogs, hope this lasts 🙂 Great to hear from you again.

    • August 11, 2014, 12:05 pm   /  Reply

      Hi, Melissa:
      Glad the posts are showing up again. Who knows the whys and why nots of the Internet? And how lovely that God shared a garden with you on your walk. 🙂

  3. August 11, 2014, 7:40 am   /  Reply

    Marvel, for sure!

    The funniest little thing had me marveling yesterday. My sister and I spent the day together. We dyed our hair (I’m sporting pink today!) and painted our nails and snacked on ridiculously-flavored chips…and it’s been a LONG time since I had a day like that. A looooong time. And on my drive back to Des Moines, I really did marvel at how much fun it was just to relax and have a girly day with one of my favorite people…and to not feel any pressure to produce or perform or accomplish.

    • August 11, 2014, 12:06 pm   /  Reply

      Melissa: Sometimes it takes a do-nothing day wit a favorite person for us to find time to marvel again. Just being with another person … and relaxing … that maks all the difference between habit and marvel.

  4. August 11, 2014, 8:40 am   /  Reply

    Love being surprised, but totally get getting used to your surroundings until it blends into the background.

    • August 11, 2014, 12:07 pm   /  Reply

      Life is a bit of both, isn’t it?
      As Andrew so aptly put it, we need both.
      But I tend to lean toward habit and forget the marvel.

  5. Susan
    August 11, 2014, 11:08 am   /  Reply

    Marvel for sure! This past week up North with my kids at a lake I’ve been going to since I was young had me slowing down and enjoying those simple moments. The sunsets. The stars. Even a bald eagle soaring overhead. I need those wide-eyed moments more!

    • August 11, 2014, 12:08 pm   /  Reply

      Sounds like a lovely time, Susan. A eyes-wide-open week.

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