Another anecdote from the fast-food establishment that continues to miss opportunities for free advertising in this space: I saw a worker walk to the edge of the food preparation area, turn 180 degrees, fix her ponytail, wash her hands, and return to work.
First of all, I pay attention to things. I notice unusual behavior. People who go out of their way to cross T’s and dot I’s stand out from the crowd — and I mean that in a good way.
Second, commitment to large concepts such as cleanliness and hygiene show up in little applications. Faithful in little, faithful in much (Luke 16:10).
Third, the weirdest, most idiosyncratic behavior can become routine with proper training and practice. She could have shuffled slowly to the restroom to do her hair maintenance. Instead she walked quickly and deliberately to the first acceptable area, took care of business, and went straight back to work. Clearly this was a habit that had been drilled into her. And it took. Good examples like those of Lois and Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5) breed good examples like Timothy (1 Timothy 4:12).
Doing the right thing is not just a matter of making good choices in the moment. With proper diligence and training, the choices make themselves. Setting an alarm for Sunday morning. Doing daily Bible reading. Praying regularly. These are not naturally occurring instincts. They come with time and attention. But eventually, they become second nature — that is, if we are willing to overcome our “first nature” that leans heavily toward laziness, cutting corners, and settling for mediocrity.