Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Need for Disciplines

Today was one of those days when I didn't feel like doing much of anything. Hopefully I am not the only one who has days when I feel like the best option is remaining in bed. When these days come around I have noticed the best thing to do is to get started with my routine.

That requires me getting out of bed, making coffee, and getting a bowl of cereal. With a cup of coffee in hand (with lots of chocolate Carmel creamer in it) I sit down in my chair to pray and read.

I may not feel like doing it, but the mere fact of having a routine gives me steps to go through, one at a time, so I can be ready to take on the day. Disciplines, whether they are spiritual or not, help give focus to our days, and provide meaning when the rest of the day seems meaningless.

I know in the past I have devalued the idea of discipline, especially the idea of spiritual disciplines. The reason I did this was because I didn't want to get caught up in "works" and that praying and reading my Bible should flow out of my desire to connect with God.

Because we still live in the flesh there are times when our flesh desires something other than time spent with God. That is why the spiritual person sets time aside each day, as a priority, to connect with God. The spiritual person is well aware that giving the chance his/her flesh will find other things to do rather than spend time with God.

I have come to discover how vital disciplines are in my life. As a guy who likes routine, they give me a path to follow as I go through my day. They also give me any opportunity to connect with God when I would rather spend more time in bed. We need disciplines in our lives, not because we want to show people how spiritual we are, but because with out them we will disconnect ourselves from God, our very source of life. For the sake of life, and to grow in our relationship with God, we need to have spiritual disciplines in our lives. We cannot live a life of faith without them.

"Anyone can attend church. Only truly devoted followers of Jesus can change the world." - Aaron Brockett

Sent from my iPod


Anonymous said...

well said, Young Allison.

Ruth said...

Thanks for this, Paul. I hear you on all points. Sometimes spiritual disciplines sound so much like empty rituals, and they can be... But we humans with our ups and downs and weaknesses often have to just obey what we know we should do whether we "feel" it or not. I needed to be reminded of that!

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