I’m a little embarrassed. This whole blogging thing was new for me, and I had decided that the best way to go about doing it was to write once a week. If you’ve got some time to kill, go and check how many weeks it’s been since I last wrote. It’s been a while. So, I’m a little embarrassed.
Maybe this never happened to you, but it reminds me of when I was in school, and when an assignment was late. A catalogue of excuses would come rushing to mind, eagerly offering themselves in order to get me off the hook. Some of those excuses aren’t bad, actually, and unlike in school, my lack of writing here isn’t about procrastination or laziness (for the most part).
All of that means that I’m not feeling too badly. A little embarrassed, yes. Guilty, no. It has, however, got me thinking about discipline. Not the kind of discipline that is dished out as punishment for wrongdoing but the kind that we apply to ourselves on a daily basis. The kind of discipline that causes us to get up early and exercise even when we’d rather stay in bed.
The same kind of discipline we need to apply to make time in our lives for prayer, study, and writing. Because, as much as I want to do all these things, sometimes I stop doing them. I can’t entirely tell you why, but for one reason or another, the other priorities of life crowd them out. I don’t think I’m unique and you may struggle with exactly the same challenge. I know that many of us struggle with making time to do things that we know are good for us even when some part of us really wants to do them.
But this kind of discipline matters. It is a kind of willful attention to intentional priorities. It may be a struggle because those intentional priorities might stand in contrast to our habits or behaviours. In short, our disciplines may not reflect where we’ve been but may instead reflect who we’re called to become.
And that matters. It matters because who we’re called to become will shape the influence our lives have on God’s world. It matters because who we’re called to become will shape who we are. Our citizenship in God’s kingdom isn’t built on our disciplines, but what we do with our citizenship is built on our disciplines.
So, I’m a little embarrassed. But each week is a new week, and each day is a new day. Disciplines are built one day at a time, and who I’m called to be is built exactly the same way.