Monday, February 19, 2018

The Difficulty of Discipline

Spiritual commitments are easy to make and terrible hard to keep. Maybe you all are stronger humans than I am, but I really struggle with staying consistently devoted to my vows of discipline. It's so simple to fudge; to say "I'll get back on track tomorrow." And before we know it, it's been a week or a month or a year since we last kept to our promises.

Discipline is difficult. 

Just a few weeks ago, in my Sunday sermon, I talked about my desire for holistic health and the practices I was taking on in order to finally get healthy again. And now, just a few weeks later, I'm already tempted to neglect some of those important health routines.

Or...a few months ago, I set a recurring timer on my phone to ring at 9:00, 12:00, and 3:00 each day -- as a rhythmic reminder to pray. But already, just a few months later, I often find myself ignoring the alarm and neglecting to pause for prayer. 

Or...just yesterday in my sermon, I challenged many of you -- my congregation --to be committed to prayer throughout this week. Yet already this morning, as I awoke, for some reason my first thought was not one of prayer. I was was already undisciplined. I already failed to practice what I preached.

Discipline is difficult. 

And yet, that is the point. Life can be so hard sometimes, so we need spiritual disciplines in our lives to reground us in those moments of difficulty. So, I'm reminded to keep at it when it comes to being spiritually disciplined. And I'm inviting you to the same. Don't worry about failure. Forget about your screw-ups. Brush off your lack of discipline and keep trying. And see if God doesn't form you mightily through that process of failure and re-dedication.

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