Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Intended Comments on method-ism (more discipline)...


So I got off on a musical tangent with my last post. Sorry.

I wanted to give kudos to the topic of discipline and method-ism. In reading "The Year of Living Biblically" by A.J. Jacobs, it's been both humorous, and thought-provoking. Some of the Jewish orthodox "laws" that are still followed my mainly devout believers, seem to have no purpose other than to make you follow a rule. Many of them, after study and/or prayer, you can find a purpose...but some of them are in a class of their own. It seems that discipline was, in and of itself, something God wanted His people to work on.

Which brought up a good point in my own life. There aren't many areas where I "discipline" myself. Growing up, as a teenager, this was a different story completely (which both in high school and college years, this structure in my life was a very good thing). But today, things have changed.

I don't like the taste of alcohol. I don't like the taste or smell of most tobacco products, and the smells I do enjoy are still nixed because of the fact that it's a HUGE health concern. Sexually, I'm a faithful married man....and I like the way that works. I'm a youth pastor, so I naturally spend a lot of my time studying scripture, and talking with others about God.

So there you have many of the "large" issues, or at least...the issues that were always taught to me were major: Don't drink, don't smoke, and don't have sex before you're married. These have all been conquered. Leaving me a vacuum of discipline, and no personal habit by which to incorporate new disciplines.

Are there still areas I struggle in? Yeah. I don't eat healthy. I'm lazy at home. Our over-sexed culture still gets my attention. I speed. I get angry at strangers who slow my life down. These are all areas my self-discipline is/will be working on.

But what about a discipline just for the sake of getting better at having self-control? Something that just reminds me to control myself on a regular basis. Something I could do regularly that would cause me to sacrifice? Not because if I mess up, it means I'm going to He*%...but just because doing it helps me become a more disciplined person.

Maybe something like: Give up one meal a week. Voluntarily sit on the floor if there's a chance anyone will have to. Always sing quieter than the person next to you in church. Drive the speed limit. Or maybe something that doesn't really even have "moral" value, like: Never drink Pepsi products on the weekend. Never use capital letters on thursdays. Never wear a hat before 6pm. etc...

Any suggestions/things you've changed yourself for a reason like this?

2 comments:

superpook84 said...

To me, discipline isn't just about quitting bad habits, it's about starting good ones too. I need to get in the habit of talking about God when the opportunity arises. I use to think "Hey this is a great time to say something", but I'd never bring my thoughts in the open. Now I make sure I talk about Him on a daily basis to either co-workers or strangers- whoever happens to be around at the time the thought pops in my head. One of my co-workers is an atheist and I've been talking to her about Christianity for a week now, and she keeps coming back with more questions. It's really starting to make an impact on her. It's probably not a big deal to you to talk about God since it's basically your job :). But in Corporate America people tend to leave their beliefs (and morals) at home, and I'm glad I finally have the courage to bring mine into work.

The One and Only said...

Uhh, I think a baby requires some discipline. But you've forgotten that one by now. I think if you keep the drinking/smoking/sex ones (although I think drink/smoke in moderation wouldn't be as bad occasionally as the sex) checked, your only worry would be keeping close to God. Falling away from God somewhat wouldn't send you to hell, but requires discipline, which I believe you have. Don't allow yourself to ever get too wrapped up in your job, even though it's for a good cause. Maybe less Panera coffee? :). My discipline changes require me to try hard to be less logical and efficient, which is counter-culture to my engineering/business background. I don't believe I am too wrapped up in work, but I force a ton of things in life to be hyper efficient and make sense, in the me-first culture, which I need to get more away from. I need to cling closer to God in the quiet spaces, and allow him to make me artistic in living.