There are good habits and there are bad habits that are formed through routine and ritual or repetition. In conversation with someone who is in recovery, she said, “The desire I have to get high goes away after about 15 minutes. So, I try to think of other things and remind myself this too will pass.” Bad habits become automatic, but, so it is with good habits. I noticed we often get out of the habit of going to church. We get out of the habit of praying. When we step back into a good habit, it can become part of us again.

When I hear the word “contagious” I can’t help but think of airborne diseases such as what we have faced with the coronavirus. There can also be a contagious joy, or a contagious laughter, or a contagious compassion. When I see the peace a faithful person exudes, I want some of that. My friend was in a severe car accident causing a head injury. His wife said she wants to read everything he read because he is the most hope-filled person she has ever met. Faith can be contagious. Maybe being the salt of the earth is a way of saying after meeting that person ‘I thirst for more’. More love, more joy, more faith.

Combining the word contagious with contentment may seem strange at first glance. If we want to have more of what someone who is loving and joyful and faithful and at peace has, then is that the opposite of contentment? Maybe, if, by contentment we mean complacency. What if by contentment we mean acceptance of our acceptance as Paul Tillich preached? I at times want to bask in the acceptance God offers us. If someone is dependent on my attendance or approval to feel OK about herself or himself, then that is draining and not very inviting. If I attend a church and see the joy and peace they have then I want to be a part of that. We are loved. So much tells us otherwise. Those moments we know it, we exude it, that is the attraction of the church and the body of Christ.

Jonette Gay