July 21, 2010
“A Disciplined Life!”
I remember when I played ball how tedious and sometimes weary I would become practicing during the season. In the beginning of the season I had a bounce in my step and an enthusiasm in my attitude related to practice. As the season wore on and I became more familiar with the schemes it became much more difficult to be as invested in preparing myself for the games on Friday. My life of faith can sometimes get that way. After all I have been at this for 54 years. Practicing day in and day out, reading scripture, meditating, worshipping on Sunday, Wednesday night Bible studies, praying, sharing the various disciplines of our faith. It can become predictable and old hat sometimes. I tend to forget oftentimes the reason behind the discipline. I am not practicing the disciplines out of obligation or as some test or proof that I am a good Christian. It is through the practice of the disciplines that I come to be aware of who God is and what God is doing in life!!! The disciplines are tools that God and the church give to me to sense and become present with the reality of God’s presence and work in every moment I live! When I come to remember that and I come to realize the purpose behind the practice it makes the disciplines come alive because they are about sensing and discerning the will of God now!!
When I become sloppy and lazy in my practice of the disciplines I become numb to the presence of God in my life and in the life of the world around me. The given of the Christian life of faith is that God is working and revealing God’s will in this moment, right now! My apathy and my lack of discipline with sensing and responding to that presence and work leaves me out of the loop of what God is doing. Many Christians keep wanting God to do all the work. Many Christians just keep expecting God to show up in miraculous ways that are obvious and powerful. Many times the work of God is discovered in the silence, in the stillness, in the background of living. Our role is to utilize all the tools God has given us to heighten our awareness and sensitize us to where God is, what God is doing, and how God is revealing God’s love in the midst of a hurting creation. Practicing the disciplines bends and shapes our wills to God’s. Without such discipline we become unaware and unavailable to all that God is doing in our lives and in the life of the creation all around us. God continues to be so faithful to us. When you stop to consider all that we have been given by God it seems a little foolish to keep expecting God to do all the work for us. We must learn to live out the disciplines of our faith. Such a life is really the only one worth living!!!
I will see you on the road,