Take the Tunnel
[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]D[/mk_dropcaps]id you start off this year with resolutions or new goals? If not, why is that? I realize asking that is very personal and a much deeper question than you may be ready for while you are still in this post-holiday hangover. I ask this rhetorically to get you thinking about what is driving your actions in this New Year. Is it fear? Is it frustration? Is it apathy? Is it the expectations of others? Is it control? There are many motivators for change or lack there of and to keep this post short, I will not go there. But, it has me thinking. Why do we avoid or have such an aversion to the necessary disciplines that come with a healthy and successful life? Yes, success is different for everyone unique to their strengths and calling. Though, when I look at those who have the utmost success either as a parent, in business, in ministry, or in relationships, there is one common dominant trait: discipline. Yes, I know! How annoying, right? Just hearing the word discipline can make my mind flash to the season when I would get spanked by my Dad when I was disobedient. Its no wonder, though, when I conducted a google search for the definition that Dictionary.com defined it as: “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.”
That definition didn’t sit right with me so I dug in a bit further. I looked into the etymology of discipline to find the Latin word discipulus meaning instruction or knowledge. Then God corrected me. Discipline is not about us reaching our own means to an end. Finding a means to an end just makes straying all the more tempting because it's all about what we want and nothing else. Rather, I believe God wants each of us to redefine discipline this year to see it as the act of bringing our lives into agreement with His instruction and knowledge.
Yes, a disciplined life in God means you will be corrected. This means we all have things that we do wrong. How humbling to admit! The amazing part, though, is that God does it because He loves us. It proves that He sees us as His sons and daughters. (Hebrews 12:3-11) Think about it. Discipline takes energy to give. It requires a teacher to show you what the correct way is. It also requires relationship as we don’t do things we don’t fully understand unless we trust who is leading us.
I believe God wants us to step into the tunnel of a disciplined life. It is a narrow path. There is one way in and one way out. When you try to escape it, you will be corrected by the boundaries of the wall. This is not a journey for the faint of heart. It also isn’t something God forces us to do. He has given us the choice. But I know this: not heading His call to be obedient to His ways means I remain unmoved by His majesty. I fear being apart from the Lord too much not to step into this tunnel. Truthfully though, I have questioned whether it was the right choice but every time I do, God confirms my steps with His presence and fresh wisdom. This month is really more about taking an evaluation of your heart than about accomplishing a set list of tasks. You ready for it?