I have had some people ask me about what my New Year’s Resolution, so I thought I would share it here. (Well actually, people haven’t asked, but I figure some of you might ask me, or if nothing else it is an acceptable question to ask and answer at the beginning of the year, but back to the matter at hand) I used to have an annual New Year’s Resolution to be more organized. I know it kinda defeats the purpose of having a New Year’s Resolution if you have to do it annually, so I thought now after some slight success in being more organized after 6 or so years.. I would begin a new annual New Year’s Resolution: Discipline.
Discipline is not easy. It goes contrary to so much of our natural tendency doesn’t it? We don’t want to get up in the morning and work out because we would rather sleep. We don’t want to do the dishes because our favorite television show is on. We don’t want to read our Bible because SportsCenter is more exciting. This is a list that could add up for me, and it could maybe add up for you as well. And indiscipline begets indiscipline. I find that if I am indiscipline in one aspect of my life, it flows into other areas of life, and soon life is overwhelming as my spirit is undernourished, my body is over-nourished, the dishes are piled up, and I am lounging out frustrated because of e. all of the above.
This week I am taking a class in UM Theology. As I was preparing for the class, I was again reminded of one of the distinctive characteristics of a Methodist- Discipline. We like it so much we have a book of it! But more importantly the early Methodist embodied it. If a Methodist wasn’t disciplined, she wasn’t a disciple. An undisciplined disciple was an oxymoron. To be a follower of Jesus Christ is to have an orderly life.
Still some of us aren’t sold on the idea of discipline. When we think of discipline, we picture a paddle on the wall, an angry coach, or 3 page report. We have associated the idea of discipline with the idea of punishment, but that is not the essence of discipline to just whip us, but to whip us into the shape of Jesus. Discipline at first can be seen as a limiting action, but it truly is a freeing action because as you take care of those things of utmost importance, you are free to Be the Way You Were Made! You are healthy and holy. You have received love and you can give love.
So please pray for me as I take this on. Pray that I will be discipline in my spiritual life and get in a solid routine of spending time with God. Pray that I will be discipline in my relationships that I will be giving of myself fully to others. Pray that I will be discipline in my physical life and shed a few pounds. Pray that I will be discipline in my organization so that I can be fit to accomplish all that is on my plate. And I will pray for you that in this New Year, you too will be disciplined disciples of Jesus Christ.