The last few days many horrible things have happened. Famous people have died, thousands are being tortured around the world. Just go channel surfing.. you’ll find it. Again and again. And while bad things will never leave us, there is something that is present : repetition. They are everywhere. And yet–repetition has its benefits…
Many consider repetition a bad thing. If you ask most people, they will tell you that repetition equals boredom. Or equates to the un-important. “oh yeah, I sometimes play that song over & over so i can fall asleep.” or “He sounds like he’s saying the same thing over and over. ”
But just because things are repeated doesn’t make them inherently bad. Repetition can be a good thing. Actually, I would like to argue that repetition of healthy things can be good. Let me use an example from dog training. The more you use a command in training, the more comfortable a dog gets with that command and imprints there behavior. So, my puppy April responds in sit to everything because it was the very first thing I taught her at 3 months old. Which is better than jumping.
Now, translate that over to our world. Though this takes time, let’s look at a break-up. Women and men beat themselves over and over about the bad things they did thinking they could have saved the relationship. But what is actually helpful is to start new, healthy habits to help one build themselves out of the bad situation. Early Christians had a practice called Lectio divina. It is where you meditate on a verse of scripture to the point of being soaked in the Word. Practically speaking, this requires SOME repetition. But repeating God’s word over and over has a similar effect to teaching a dog a new behavior. It gets a chance to soak in. To be come second nature. So that bad begins to fade as quickly as it begins–sometimes blocking it entirely.
So maybe we should consider the good repeats, so the bad repeats can be blocked out. What do you do to block out the bad. Don’t forget to share–only good to help those traveling through the bad.