Always go upstream = habit cycles

By Dave Henning / April 7, 2022

“Here’s another [mantra]: ‘Always go upstream.’  When it comes to habit cycles, you have to swim upstream.  It’s solving the problem before it happens.”- Mark Batterson

“When you spend years responding to problems, you can sometimes overlook the fact that you could be preventing them.”- Dan Heath

“The water from upstream stopped flowing.  It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam.”- Joshua 3:16 (NIV)

On Day 29 (“Swim Upstream”) of Do It for a Day, Mark Batterson notes that in 1864, only three hundred women doctors practiced in the United States.  But in that year, Rebecca Lee Crumpler became the first African American woman to earn a medical degree.  With the title ‘doctress of medicine.’

Most significantly, Dr. Crumpler set up practice in Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy.  Yet, Pastor Batterson notes, Dr. Crumpler endured relentless racism with amazing grace.  Because she viewed medicine as “a proper field for real missionary work.”

Above all, Dr.Crumpler published A Book of Medical Discourses in 1883.  As a result, she brought accessible medicine to the average person.  Therefore, Dr. Crumpler empowered slaves to be nurses and doctors themselves!  And not other female doctor authored a book in the nineteenth century.

Furthermore, Pastor Batterson explains how prayer starts a chain reaction:

“The miracle is always upstream.  Of course, so is the problem.  In therapy, the presenting issue is rarely the root problem.  The root issue is . . . sixteen miles upstream.

Swimming upstream is reverse engineering our good and bad habits.  If you want to break a bad habit, it helps if you understand the origins.  That’s how you identify the prompt and interrupt the pattern.  You have to connect the dots. . . .  Of course, we need the help of the Holy Spirit as well.  The Counselor surfaces things in our subconscious and helps us flip the script.”

Finally, Mark exhorts, rewrite your future as you seed your clouds with God-sized, God-honoring goals.

Today’s question: How hard do you find it to always go upstream?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Box God in = boxing God out!”

About the author

Dave Henning

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