being disciplined…

i must admit, i’m not a very disciplined person. it just doesn’t really seem to be in my nature. i know that there are people out there who thrive on their list of stuff and getting that list done. i cannot tell you HOW many times i have tried and tried to do something, to remain disciplined and stick it out to the end.

i mean, really, i’m a musician! in order to be a good musician, what must one do? PRACTICE!! how often do i do that? not NEARLY enough.

i’m training for a half marathon. i got a 3 1/2 month training program, stretched into 4 1/2 and was REALLY good about following it for about 2 months. then i got sick. threw me COMPLETELY off track. and then it was this, and class, and spring break and just being too busy to make sure that i was ACTUALLY following the program. it’s gotten to the point where i’m just trying to make sure that i get out and run a few times a week.

how many times have i tried to start a morning devotional? more times than i can count. currently, i’m several days behind on the two i’ve really been trying to do. it’s not that i don’t like them, it’s that i’m just not disciplined enough to maintain it, i guess. i get up before james, so i want to be quiet or i’m running late in the morning so i don’t have time or i simply forget.

let’s not really even talk about blogging. or reading my Bible. keeping up with daily Bible studies. or, or, or.

so my question is this: is a lack of discipline a really bad thing? is it something that i need to work on? and if it is, how does an undisciplined person go about becoming disciplined? it just doesn’t make sense in my mind, because wouldn’t trying to become more disciplined take some… ummm… discipline?

i want to clarify something here, though. just because i’m undisciplined doesn’t mean that i’m unorganized. i try really hard to maintain some kind of organization with things and life and whatnot. i just can’t decide if this is good or bad though. is it REALLY important that i maintain all of these things?

OR

is it more that things in life are like seasons. they come and they go as they are needed. is it necessary that i both read my Bible every day AND do a devotional? is it necessary to follow a running program or can i just do my own thing? you know what i mean? i’m someone who gets bored with things if they aren’t changed up every once in a while. if our apartment layout could handle it, i probably would have rearranged our ENTIRE apartment over the weekend. i settled with the computer room and the dining room. variety is the spice of life, is it not?!

this all comes up partly because of the sermon at church yesterday and because of a book i’m (re)reading. at church, we are talking about the history of the Bible. we got a 15 minute Bible history lesson. basically, a LOT of people gave their lives, their safety, and their resources so that today, i can have a Bible in my house without fear of dying. and do I read it every day? no. do i even read it every OTHER day? no.

this other book i’m reading is called ‘a contrarian’s guide to knowing God’. this book basically questions the rigid adherence to spiritual disciplines. not that they are bad, it’s NOT what this guy is saying. what it IS saying that many people have taken these disciplines and turned them into rules for life. that you MUST follow them in order to be a ‘good Christian’. he suggests that these disciplines should perhaps be looked at more as tools for getting to know God and His will for our lives better. and honestly, that takes a lot of the pressure off a person like me who can’t seem to stick with one thing for more than a month or so.

so which is it? what are your thoughts?

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4 thoughts on “being disciplined…

  1. maaaaaam says:

    I fall into the undisciplined category as well. I think it comes about more because of how I view things. I don’t want to do the things that I HAVE to do or NEED to do, but I love doing the things that I WANT to do. Therefore, I have become very disciplined with my morning devotional because it’s something that I WANT to do. I love the connection with God, etc. I do mine after I’ve gotten ready for the day. Others have told me that I need to do it first thing in the morning before I do anything else. I’ve tried that, I kept falling asleep. Not good. Therefore, I found what worked for me when I decided that this is something that I want to do.

    Training for this 10K is now becoming a have to. I’m not following a plan – just running different distances 3 days a week. And I’m starting to really dread it – which is why I’m doing this instead of going out for my run right now – even though I’m ready to go. I’ll be glad when the 10K is done so that I don’t HAVE to go out for a run, but I GET / WANT to go out for a run.

    So, I guess it all comes down to perspective. Are you doing what you’re doing because you feel that you have to do it when and the way others have told you to do it? Or are you doing these things because you want to do them? As far as your devotional – find the time of day that works best for you. When are you at your quietest time? Maybe it’s after class and before James gets home. It’s just you in the house. And God. Figure out why you want to be disciplined in these different areas. Then figure out how that looks for you – and you alone!! Maybe your devotional time is 10:00 at night. Great – your mind will spend all night focused on God. How bad can that be? And where does it say in the Bible that your devotional has to be in the morning? David talks about spending time with God in the morning, then in another Psalm he talks about spending time with God at night. Then other places it says he spends all day talking with God. Jesus got away whenever he could. He didn’t say – “Hey guys – it’s 7:00, I need my quiet time.” He just got away when he could and spent time with God. God isn’t a god of ritual, He’s a God of relationship. He’ll guide you in the right things to be disciplined in and he’ll tell you how to go about it so that it’s right for you.

  2. Kim says:

    I think it could go either way depending on the thing at issue. I mean, it’s probably not good to not practice something you want to continue with down the road. But sometimes it’s nice to flirt with ideas and not have to worry about them coming to fruition. Only you’ll know the right balance.

  3. ashley says:

    I think just do what works for you. Christians crack me up sometimes in the way they try to force their SPECIFIC plan on other people. They fail to remember that we’re different parts of the same body.

    For someone like you, I would think that listening to worship music on the way to work/school would be a more effective devotional than forcing yourself to DO a devotional in the morning. Know what I mean?

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