Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Discipline and Life

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.

2 comments:

52 Days In The Garden said...

Yes, David it does. The word discipline is derived from the word disciple and it means, "to follow." We have used this foundational definition as a pillar in parenthood. Our children do imitate us and our goal as parents is to give them strong roots, the ultimate strength being to closely follow Jesus and know His attributes personally.

As a family we talk much about change in the weeks preceding Easter. Our challenge during this time is to look deep into the corners of our hearts and life - the places that have not been visited lately - and prayerfully ask God what He wants changed.

My particular tradition is to pray for those who have wronged me during the last year. My disciplines per say is to bring those to the throne that I may not usually mention and to live and breathe restoration to the best of my prayerful ability.

Have fun! Michelle

Zee said...

read this blog entry on my way home from the gym and it hit close to home :) not that i plan any tough hikes anytime soon (there might be a surprise one, but not that i know of), but yeah. the main point is to keep the body in shape in case something DOES happen.

spiritual discipline is probably even more important than physical 'cuz it's the one that defines our future. gotta confess i wasn't too good at it lately, but gotta start exercising there too... wish there was someone who would keep me "on my toes" so to speak...