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Friday, August 29, 2008

Self control....the first spiritual discipline

DSC_0953_edited-1, originally uploaded by Christopher Rauch.

      the indispensable prerequisite to all personal growth. Ya just can't have too much of it, and if it is lacking, it will sooner or later be felt. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" but Christ must have something to strengthen. Andy Stanley tells us that yesterday we "wrote a chapter" in our story, the saga that chronicles the unavoidable change in our character. The question is which way did we go? Did we progress, or regress? Is our path in a consistent direction? All to often, I go forward and backward In great loops, content to trudge upward ever so slowly, satisfied that I am better than I used to be. 
I watch no broadcast television. None. Sometimes, I get a little pharisee (Luke 18:9) pride about it, but lately, it occurs to me that I spend an enormous amount of time tweaking my blog, reading your blog, and posting thoughts and feelings. These are not bad things but moderation (ah, self-control!) has always been my weak point. I want to spend time in "Centering Prayer", and other spiritual disciplines. I feel starved, sometimes for a closer, more conversational relationship with the Ancient, Eternal, Holy, Perfect, God. My God. The One who loves me (can it be?) like no other.  
My Pastor spoke of prioritizing, and I keep a constant low-grade whine in my head about hearing the voice of God, and lately, It seems as if He has nudged me, and called me to a life of more self-discipline so that I can begin to practice spiritual disciplines with a little more sucess, not to win Divine approval, but so that my prayers can be answered, and one of my fondest wishes granted. My Father, perhaps, wants to give me my best (I have more than one... lol) hearts desire.
In the space of a few days, I have stumbled across many mentions of denying the flesh to feed the spirit

Now I think, like ms. Rachel, I need to drop back and punt, though not as extremely as she has, and probably keep my Internet tomfoolery down to weekends or something. The Blogging, and Flickr, have captured me. I need to get control of my self.
I think God told me to.
(And that money I save on cable... I spend it on Marlboros)

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