Creating space for God

I was given the following devotional reading by a friend on Saturday – I don’t know where it came from but thought it was really good, so reproduce it here:

“Discipline is the other side of discipleship.  Discipleship without discipline is like wanting to run in the marathon without ever practicing.  Discipline without discipleship is like always practicing for the marathon but never participating.  It is important, however, to realise that discipline in the spiritual life is not the same as discipline in sports.  Discipline in sports is the concentrated effort to master the body so that it can obey the mind better.  Discipline in the spiritual life is the concentrated effort to create the space and time where God can become our master and where we can respond freely to God’s guidance.  Thus, discipline is the creation of boundaries that keep time and space open for God.  Solitude requires discipline, worship requires requires discipline, caring for others requires discipline.  They all ask us to se apart a time and a place where God’s gracious presence can be acknowledged and responded to”.
However, I’m not sure that I totally agree that discipline in the spiritual life is totally different from discipline in sports.  Separating the physical from the spiritual is ultimately looking at life from a Hellenistic rather than a Biblical world view. I think the Biblical, or Hebraic, world view would be more ‘wholistic’, realising that the physical and spiritual are connected – that one affects the other, that they are inescapably interlaced together.  Physical discipline does affect our spiritual experience, and spiritual disciple cannot escape the physical dimension – to make space and time for God to become our master involves our physical as well as spiritual separation to a place where we can hear and commune with Him.   Physical discipline and spiritual discipline are two sides of the same coin – connected at our heart, the home of our will and consciousness.

Do you agree?  Any thoughts on the matter? 

Keeping a Life Diary

Media_httpfreethemonkeywordpresscomfiles200903advanceddiary1jpg_ffjcesayonhvdxj

I use a diary all the time for management of appointments and meetings, mainly for work, but also for home and church, but I have always found it difficult to take the next step and keep a Spiritual Life Diary.

A Spiritual Life Diary (SLD) is a condensed commentary of your life written on a frequent basis, usually daily.  Its main purpose is to help bring some basic discipline to your spiritual life, helping you keep track of prayers and answers to prayer, thoughts, general feelings and reflections on your walk with Jesus.

Why do you need a Spiritual Life Diary?

I suppose the real answer to this question is that don’t need one, but it can be a great source of encouragement and strength to look back over periods from your past and remember where you where and what you were doing.

I have started a Spiritual Life Diary many times over the last 30 years, but ended up neglecting it because I didn’t have the discipline to continue. Yet, when I look back at the times when I did keep it up to date and read the reflections and honest comments I made, I can’t help but be uplifted and determined to start again with the hope that this time, maybe, I can keep it going.

The good news (for me at least) is that I started my SLD again a couple of months ago, and am now using a really excellent diary tool called Advanced Diary.  I have used a number of free and purchased diary tools, but find that, for me, Advanced Diary is the best of the ones I have tried so far, and it does what I need it to do.

I will revisit the use of Spiritual Life Diaries again as we move on with this blog, mainly because they are a useful discipleship tool, and I would recommend that everyone who is serious about their spiritual walk should write one, if for other reason than it makes you take time out of your day to reflect and focus on your spiritual walk and life plan. The downside is that to really get the most our of it, you need to have some discipline, which is not my strong suit by any means!!