I’ve been reading “The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives” by Dallas Willard lately. It’s a good read.
Willard talks about how acting like Jesus did “on the spot” is impossible if not burdensome if we haven’t spent the time preparing ahead of time… not just in knowledge, but in word and deed… that if we just try as we might to “do the right thing” we have failed, we need to reach the point where “doing the right thing” is the only option for us, when loving an enemy is the natural thing to do. Ahhh if the right thing to do was the natural option. All the time. I’d have much less things to apologize for/ backtrack/ try to remedy. MUCH LESS.
Willard discusses the overall lifestyle of Jesus and ways in which we grow through spiritual disciplines like prayer, solitude, fasting, study, fellowship, etc and how it really is the “behind the scenes stuff” that we’re really made of.
You hear stuff like this all the time, especially if you go to church. Read your bible. Pray. Serve. Listen to God.
But what does that look like fleshed out? In your season of life?
Here’s an excerpt from my prayer journal last week:
“Up all night with the kids. I am so tired today. Attempting to drop (Luke’s) morning feeding.
For some reason I don’t picture great theologians reading their bible while sitting on top of the toilet supervising morning bath time… being pelted occasionally by a bubble covered bath toy.”
It seems my only time that I’m truly alone is when I’m on a run.
I am grateful for the ability to run, to exercise. I am grateful for the things that God teaches me as I work on disciplining my body to run longer, faster, lift heavier weights. I love the parallels between faith and fitness.
You can’t show up for a marathon having only done wind sprints. You can’t expect to persevere through 26.2 miles being a sunny day runner (particularly in Buffalo!) You’ve got to put in the time, the mileage, the pain. Day in and day out.
So I’ll continue to sit in the bathroom supervising the bubble fights after a sleepless night, gleaning what I can from that which God graciously shows me in his word. It might not be pretty, but training isn’t always pretty.