I'm reading You Are What You Love in Sunday School. The author suggests that we are less influenced by our beliefs and conscious decisions about our religious life than by the habits we develop from the "liturgies" — the ritualistic repeated actions — in our lives in and outside of church.

He claims that only a small percentage of our daily decisions and actions are based on conscious choices. Most of what we do, he figures, is like stepping on an escalator. At some point we decided to take that step, but by now we're just riding on the escalator without making further conscious choices.

He asks us to look at the actions in our lives — our habits — through the lens of liturgy. He makes a strong case that shopping malls are like temples. I don't go the mall, myself, or to football games. A lot of the things he lists are not part of my life.

But I am sure that there are secular "liturgies" that lead me to actions that distract me from God and lead me toward idolatry or maybe just toward goals and outcomes that I haven't really chosen.

Smith asks us to look for these patterns during our daily Examen. This is a habit I completely gave up over the holidays. I plan to return to it, now that I no longer have house guests to enjoy. I'm hoping for some revalations.