This has been a weird season for me.
Many of the disciplines I have kept in the past have fallen by the wayside, and I can’t for the life of me seem to pick them back up. I’ve felt bad about that because by all accounts, they are disciplines that are really good for me and my family…things like from-scratch meals, homemade bread made with freshly-ground flour, daily exercise, steady Bible reading, regular church attendance, organized homeschooling, structured daily routine…
All of those are good things, right?
Well, I don’t do them consistently anymore and sometimes I cringe at the lack of discipline in my life.
I mean, I eat pizza from Costco on the regular now, make it to yoga once a week if I’m lucky, buy Oreos more times in the past few months than I have in the past 10 years, and I can’t remember the last time that I made fresh bread.
There are other things of a more spiritual nature that have slid as well, and those are the ones that can cause me the most worry because I’ve been taught that if I don’t read my Bible and pray every day I won’t grow.
And I want to grow. I really, really do.
As far as I can tell, I’m not being rebellious or slack or lazy. It’s just that my will power is running thin.
You see, a lot of these disciplines have been fueled by duty and obligation…things I “should” do because they are good for me. Honestly, that is a place to start, but if duty doesn’t at some point turn to delight, the discipline can take more from you than it gives to you resulting in spiritual and emotional burn out and a host of physical dis-ease.
Those disciplines served me for the season I was in, where duty and obligation were good enough reasons, but no more.
Are you scared for me? Or maybe you are nodding your head with a “me, too…me, too.”
I’ve been a little bit of both…scared and yet finding others around me in the same predicament. But is it really a predicament?
I don’t think so. The sheer number of people who share their stories with me, people who have never been half-hearted or lackadaisical in their approach to life, tells me that there must be something deeper going on.
I recently heard Graham Cooke speak on this being a season of unlearning so that we can receive the new things God wants to teach us and that God is dismantling disciplines so that we can walk in the flow of delight rather than the burden of obligation.
You see, the journey I’ve been on has had a lot to do with “undoing”… and most of it very uncomfortable for me. But what Graham Cooke says makes sense to me. God doesn’t want me to have a life full of disciplines done out of duty. He’s ready for me to learn to operate out of delight.
Why would that be important? Because, as I see it, duty requires will power which has a limited supply. When I’m tired, sick, hungry, etc., will power is in short supply because I have to use most of it on just managing myself much less doing any disciplines even though I know they would be good for me.
Delight, on the other hand, has no limit and can flow no matter what the circumstance because it comes from the springs of unlimited joy found in Jesus.
I don’t have it figured out yet, how to develop disciplines out of a place of delight, but it’s a journey I’m willing to go on. All of the sign posts point in that direction. And this season of “unlearning,” as disconcerting and confusing as it can be, is causing outrageous growth in spite of the missing disciplines.
What’s your story? Are you in a season of unlearning? Are you struggling to hold onto disciplines and habits? I’d love to hear from you!
I am passionate about helping people to become all they are created to be, leaving behind old patterns of thinking, of eating, of feeling, to embrace the life they are meant to live. If you’d like me to walk with you on this journey, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s discuss a plan that works best for you.