Discipline

Taaplogo_1Last night was TAAP night, Theology and a Pint, one of my favorite nights of the month (Although getting me there last night was like pulling teeth, I was not "in the mood"). I don’t often report on it – but it seems to have triggered some crazy dreams, some really wacky energy, and some great ideas.

The topic was discipline. And friends, I lack it. One of the questions that really got me thinking was "what gets in your way of (spiritual) discipline for you?" The answer welled up in me out of some place I have not visited for a long time. "Fear" I told my group, feeling the emotions trying to make their way to my tear ducts. Afraid of being found out – for being a faker and poser. Fear of rejection, afraid to go something alone, to fail – again and again – like every other time I have tried something new.

The topic felt very relevant to me, particularly in Lent.  We talked about many of the disciplines or practices that one might take up during Lent; bible study, exercise,fasting, abstaining, tithing, and others. I am visiting Ship-of-Fools site for inspiration and help with Lent, but if I had to be reallyTeflonworld
honest, yet again, I am the Teflon of stick-to-it-iveness. There has not been much action on my part. I know that, like the gym, once I get there I will feel good. Once I take something up – I can build on it. My sweeties group spent time talking about how we need to be better at identifying what we DO do, and spend less time beating ourselves up about what we DON’T do.

I still have yet to dedicate some time to the emotions about all of this. Although – the emotions made their way to me in dreams last night. I dreamt that (ok – I am really going out on a vulnerable limb here – it WAS a dream) I was working in ministry with Doug Pagitt. That I was happy, learning, being encouraged to be a sponge for the Holy Spirit leadings. That I was working on a team, helping, using my giftedness and passion for ministry – helping.

I know, that if I want to change, my situation, my body, my relationship with Jesus, and/or the church, I have to do the work. Maybe it can start with prayer. I plan to spend more time on this – but wanted to just barf some of this out.

What does the meaning and word discipline mean for you?

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5 thoughts on “Discipline

  1. The TAAP presenter was in my small group & he realized that he left an important detail out of his presentation: that spiritual disciplines historically & fundamentally happen in a GROUP. Our culture teaches us to feel we must be strong & not need support, but really, learning, forming habits, and success at being human are meant to happen among others for encouragement and accountability.
    Your line “Afraid of being found out—for being a faker and poser. Fear of rejection, afraid to go something alone, to fail” shows how our American/individualist culture has subverted our innate knowledge that teamwork and common cause is the way to get something done. Jesus didn’t have individuals scattered around, he had disciples. Monks, nuns, brothers, parishes/congregations, even TAAP—all group models designed to learn & do spiritual practices.
    Also, pay attention to those dreams. As y’all know, I subscribe to the if-you-can-see-it-you-can-make-it-true philosophy. You will find what you look for. Spend a lot more time concentrating on what you want and less time concentrating on your failures and what you don’t want, and watch your dreams unfold before your eyes. I’ve experienced it & I know it works!

  2. In full agreement with our need for group support- left to my own devices I can really relate to the fear factor- fear prevents me from doing my best, I fear failure so procrastinate about assignments….I fear failure so don’t even start things-
    Yes I think that prayer plays an important part…but the voices join in again- what if I’m not praying right???
    Crazy huh???
    Peace and blessings
    Sally
    x

  3. “Discipline” for me is making time to TRY something with intentionality to give the new thing a chance. I am such a procrastinator that discipline often escapes me – but I don’t let guilt creep in either. Life’s too short. Accountability and community support is huge, too. You are one of the wonderful people in my life who helps me be accountable, and inspires me to engage in some spiritual discipline, because I know I have your support whether I achieve my goal or not. THANK YOU.
    BCS

  4. Discipline=pain for me. Not necessarily physical pain but emotional. If I want to do it, it doesn’t take discipline.
    Discipline for me is stepping out on a limb and saying I am going to make myself do this until it becomes habit.

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