Having just finished the Christian Season of Lent, I'm reflecting on some of the comments I've heard regarding Lenten fasts and other chosen disciplines. Many protestants believe the fasts and disciplines should be left to Roman Catholic Christians, or Orthodox. I disagree. We have much we can learn from their traditions in this matter.
Why disciplines? This afternoon I went to the state park next to our home for a workout. I climbed down and then back up a set of 140 stairs, three times. Then I left and ran a mile or so and returned and climbed down and up the same stairs 7 more times. Why would I choose such a physical discipline? It hurts. It makes my lungs wheeze. It is hard.
There is a very specific reason I choose this discipline. Next month this time, I plan to be hiking in the mountains. I'll climb and descend thousands of feet daily. My discipline now is putting strength in my legs, and wind in my lungs. I'm preparing for a tougher hike next month. And we prepare with discipline.
I choose spiritual disciplines for the same reason. Make sense?
Peace to you.