13 April 2011

40 Days 40 Minutes Day 1

It was blissfully easy for me to get up, get out of bed and begin the first day of my odyssey into discipline. If you believe what I just wrote, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I will sell you; cheap. I wondered yesterday if I mightn't be wrong about this adventure being more than my semi-annual attempt to purge my guilt glands. Several hours after I had posted my blog, I was on to bigger and better things... not really but it's so danged easy to be convinced other stuff is more important.

First of all, all that had gone wrong the day before yesterday had been made right after I had posted my self-challenge. Once I did the ridiculously happy dance and praised God over and over again for His mercifully removing two very major stressors from my life and replacing them with major blessings... I found my suspicious Sicilian nature got the better of me. "Oh, nice going God! I probably would have forgotten all about my attempts to regain my spiritual disciplines now that I am in "happy-happy, joy-joy" mode. How sneaky of you to keep me awake, have me go through all those things and then make public my self-challenge before you fixed these problems!" My initial responses almost always fail the godly response test. And no, I don't think God took care of those problems for me because I did something. I think He blesses me despite what I say and do or I wouldn't be so blessed.

Eventually I did forget about my plan. I went to bed later than I had intended but thought because of the lack of sleep that I received the night before I would fall asleep and stay that way. Uh... not so much. I was awake by 5 something and my first thought was, "Oh no, He's going to wake me up to do this discipline thing early." Why is it that a professing believer such as myself has to be brought to worship kicking and screaming? I felt exactly like a child who had been told to clean her room instead of play or like I used to feel when I was sent to bed at 8:30 and Star Trek came on at 9:00. For crying out loud! I have the honor and benefit of boldly coming before the throne of Almighty God and I go visit my dentist with more enthusiasm. That made me feel like scum. I was so convicted. I got up and headed to the coffee. "Lord, how about I have coffee, some food, feed the dogs, let the roomie get off to work and then it will be quiet and I will be conscious?" Hey, coffee and food are legitimate distractions....aren't they?

About a half hour after my roomie had been out of the house she called me to tell me some good news, she has received a #1 ranking at her job. Great! Oh, what time is it? Speaking of #1 .... I better go put the outgoing mail in the box... pay some bills.... let the dogs out... oops! "OK, Lord let me just finish those things and I am all yours.

Thirty minutes later I was hunting for a pad of paper, turning off the television, shushing the dogs and almost getting sucked into doing several more 'just one more' things. Pulled up short by my conscience, I set the timer on the nuke box to 42 minutes got my bible, a notebook and sat down with a final glance to the timer to make sure my preparations hadn't impinged on God's time.

Now for the good part. It was way easier once I got going than it was to get going. I started to pray and found myself in tears in no time. Good tears. The kind God catches in a bottle and keeps for us. After praying I read Galatians. I read it out loud and didn't stop until I had read the whole epistle. Galatians was exactly the book I needed to read. I am going to be doing some presentations on biblical counseling and Galatians is a great book to find wise counsel. It felt sort of strange at first not to have commentaries and other reference materials out. Kind of like I forgot something important. Maybe I should call this the "The Naked Bible Study" or something else that would sound catchy to people. Just kidding.

The point I want to make as I close is that it was good once I got going. It was refreshing. No, I didn't read the epistle and immediately have deeply moving experiences and insights. I did see a potential correlation between the Galatians wanting to return to the Law because they didn't fully grasp all that was theirs in Christ and the way many believers want to hang tightly to a medical model as their explanation for their miseries versus their sin being a more likely causal factor. That is just a cursory observation though. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Galatians 1:3-5
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ,
4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
5 to whom {be} the glory forevermore. Amen.
(NAS)







1 comment:

Carla said...

I was so glad to read day 1 from you. I am also ashamed to admit I forgot all about it until 12:52 am. It is so crazy-easy to get busy with this, that and the other when time before the Lord is certainly far more important.