Monday, June 16, 2014

One word that assists significance

The author of Hebrews readily admits that discipline is painful (Heb 10:11). But He also assures us it is profitable. It produces a "harvest of righteousness and peace". The purpose of God's discipline is not to punish us but to transform us. He has already meted out punishment for our sins on Jesus at Calvary: "The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him" (Isaiah 53:5). But we must be transformed more and more into the likeness of Christ. That is the purpose of discipline.

Trusting God, Jerry Bridges, P 121

I chatted with a pal who was welcoming folk into our church yesterday about box sets. He told me they have completely redefined our viewing habits which must be rather frustrating if you are an advertiser. My pal told me that the phenomena of immersion is now very common with people disappearing for hours and even days on end into the fantasy world that the box set opens before us. No more the long wait for next weeks instalment in between which real life is lived- now escape can be imbibed intravenously. I am sure this is true of gaming too, although I have have never really caught the vision nor understood the bug for such things. I am sure 'Grand-theft auto' addicts feel equally mystified by my passion for fly-fishing.

One word seems terribly important if we are to live lives of significance. That word is discipline which I was reminded about today. Discipline requires what M. Scott Peck called in 'The Road less Travelled'' delayed gratification. The phenomena that every good thing seems to require a level of costliness or sacrifice in order to bring it into being. Most of us dislike this idea. Especially we dislike the delay part. I bought a bunch of flowers on Saturday and the florist told me as we chatted that almost every one she ever serves says this to her 'Just so you know- I am in a hurry'. As my florist tritely and humorously told me "It takes ten minutes to wrap and prepare these flowers whether on not they are in a hurry"

In order to build up a canon of work, or turn a creative idea into a reality or simply to read a book from cover to cover each of these things requires discipline.  Discipline too is required to if you want to get in shape or lose weight as I am currently and painfully discovering. Two books come time mind when I think of discipline in a Christian sense. One is 'Celebration of Discipline' which made me see how little I had and the other is 'Ordering your private world' which revealed my inner world to be like a cupboard under the stairs that I had been meaning to tidy. In contrast, when we think of grace we tend not to think of discipline but seemingly the two do go together. Learning 'the discipline of grace' and its rhythms is for me seemingly a life-long thing but one I am slowly but surely starting to comprehend a little better.

For more on this random Monday musing you might like to check out Philip Yancey being interviewed about both grace and suffering.

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Saturday blog-sweep

 Some interesting books for pastors The State we're in Attack at dawn Joseph Scriven Joy comes with the morning When small is beautiful