Do I have to run?
Feeling guilty for even wishing we didn't have to run this morning made me feel worse. Sometimes mom isn't any better than her kids. I lecture about the need to exercise and take care of the bodies God has given us, I drag my kids out of bed when their alarms have tired of ringing, and my husband and I meet the kids outside each morning to run our 1 1/2 mile track through our neighborhood. But this morning, tiredness took over and I wasn't so eager to run.
I've been meditating on the disciplines of the Christian life, study of Scripture, prayer, meditation, fasting, solitude, worship, the things that help us stay on track and get spiritually fit. It's not always easy to maintain these disciplines, and many of us can easily find excuses for why we're not doing any of these things. I've logged most excuses, defending my role as a wife, mom, homeschool teacher, and other ministry roles I've played. But the longing for more of God, more growth, more discipline in faith and in prayer has grown. Not placated by excuses, my heart has tired of not. Not being disciplined, not digging deeper into His Word, not hiding away in solitude and in prayer. The disciplines are to draw us closer to Him. Never an end in itself they are to help us hunger for more of God. They help us quiet down, still our souls.
As I enter into these disciplines, I relinquish control over my own life and confess to cooperation with the Holy Spirit. They help me be more attentive and alert, aware of His presence and the areas where I have not completely given over to God. Dallas Willard writes about fasting and says, "The discpline of fasting teaches us a lot about ourselves very quickly. It will certainly prove humiliating to us, as it reveals to us how much of our peace depends upon the pleasures of eating. It may also bring to mind how much we are using food pleasure to assuage the discomforts caused in our bodies by faithless and unwise living and attitude." Fasting. Now there's an area where I need to learn more, grow in, practice more faithfully.
It rained this morning, but I was ready to run. I also ran to the Lord in prayer and to His word. It's 4pm and again I'm thirsty for Him to fill me. Discipline me Lord, reign me in, incline my ear to Your Spirit, help me listen.