Monday, November 30, 2015

Discipline Allows God to Be Lord of My Mind

Marabou storks in the Rift Valley of Kenya

If you are a disciple of Jesus then you have discipline in your life. Disciples are disciplined. Like, for example, guitar students practice.

Henri Nouwen writes: "If we want to be disciples of Jesus, we have to live a disciplined life." (Nouwen, A Spirituality of Living, p. 1) "A spiritual life without discipline is impossible." (Ib.)

As a new follower of Jesus my campus ministry leaders taught me to take daily "quiet times with God." I did. I'm having quiet time with God this morning. I read Scripture and meditate on it. I'm reading the Nouwen book I've quoted from. My spirit is marinating in God's slow-cooking, disciple-making, life-giving, perspective-gaining, hope-restoring, wound-healing crock pot. 

I have done this, daily, for over 45 years. Because "it requires real discipline to let God and not the world be the Lord of our mind." (Ib., p. 2)

I do my quiet times with God in quiet places of least distraction. (See here; and here.) I have disciplined myself to do this. What began as a stream of life in my heart over four decades ago has formed a groove that channels a deep river. The source of this river is the presence of God. 

Nouwen says that "the word 'discipline' means "the effort to create some space in which God can act."" (Ib.) There is a space created in my mind and heart where the Spirit of God has a chance of getting my attention. I treasure and tend this space and attend to the moving of God's Spirit in me.