I wanted to give up 40 minutes of my morning like I wanted to climb the steps of the Scala Sancta on my knees after uncooked grits had been sprinkled on them. I even tried to convince myself based on my lack of want to that sitting down with my bible and doing the challenge would be about as fruitful as performing that ritual or purchasing indulgences. That's how I start rationalizing, neglect discipline and go back to what is comfortable....that life is all about what I want to do and when I want to do it. Next I tried to convince myself that I have some great stuff to listen to and some books about biblical counseling that I could substitute. Somebody must be praying for my success. I relented.
Yesterday my pastor decided to tease me about going "Rick Warren" on him. Rick Warren is *so* not on my radar. I had forgotten completely about his 40 day plans for purpose etc. I wonder if pastor will read this and tease me about advocating plenary indulgences? He knows me far better than that but I am sure the title of my post will catch his eye. Anyway, I want to assure everyone this is merely a personal journey to build discipline, no formula or gimmick and I am blogging it to keep myself honest. I doubt I will gain readers, but I do believe I can achieve the discipline and that is a greater benefit. Not that readers aren't a good thing and again, not that I couldn't use some company along the way.
Today I read Colossians and I Thessalonians. Something that stuck with me from Colossians was that real wealth is wisdom and knowledge. Wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ. When we truly understand God's mystery, Christ Himself, we have assurance. Wealth and confidence from a biblical perspective have little to do with how the world defines them. Sadly, many churches out there are being led to believe that indications of wealth that the world recognizes are what Christians should aspire to.... blab it and grab it theology is pervasive.
Reading I Thessalonians 1:9 made me wonder if picking up a clay idol and destroying it was exponentially easier than what we have to deal with- invisible idols. Sure there are folks who have shrines in their homes that truly recognize them as such, but what about all the folks who have no idea they are worshiping things because they don't recognize them as gods? Our lives are full of things. Do I recognize my smart phone as an idol? My television? My computer? Are they? They sure can be. Was it easier to throw away a lump of clay or stone fetishes and turn to God? If you knew you wouldn't have to sacrifice your child to Molech or some other god, could you be easily persuaded to honor Jehovah? Did these people have a greater sense of relief than we do to be free of their old gods?
I certainly have more questions than answers. Again, it is much easier once you get started than it is to come to the table and start. Totally worth it. The time does go by quicker than I thought it would. I'm benefiting even if I don't want to admit it.