I am a mess. Ask my wife. I wrestle with dark things in my soul on a daily basis.
Some folks will say when they do something outrageous, "That wasn't me. That's not who I am." Folks, I would have to say, "That is exactly me. That is exactly who I am."
When Jesus rescued and continues to rescue me, he doesn't clean up a somewhat good boy. He delivered and cleanses a wicked man. This is not self-deprecation; this is the reality of the situation.
I deeply realized this when I got married. Becoming one with Marji and beginning to probe into the secret places of my heart was hard and eye opening. I thank God for Marji's patience and care in helping me walk through these issues really on a daily basis.
The realization went deeper when, I went through an incredibly painful time watching Christian 'celebrities' and a 'celebrity' church mishandle, mismanage, and sin in a serious and personal situation. We are all capable of deep, and dark evil.
I needed to press in to discipline. I needed to strengthen my reading of Scripture, prayer, meditation and spiritual life. Another time I will speak about how other inputs of therapy and exercise are essential to my journey.
And so, I need to practice spiritual disciplines every day. I have found that waking up early for me works. I make coffee and get to it. There are times when I cannot read, though. My mind races. Again, that's for another post. I put on an audio bible reading app. There are many, but I use YouVersion.
I pray. I have to write down outlines of my prayers to keep me focused. Sometimes, I will put on worship music. (Shout out to Shane and Shane!).
In the reading or listening of Scripture I wrestle. In the prayers, I wrestle. It's work. I have to concentrate. I confess sin. I ask for forgiveness. I plead with God.
But, here is where I have found the most encouragement in this practice. Jocko Willink. Yep. Getting after it. I thought, how amazing would it be to discipline my spiritual life in the way Jocko disciplines his day to day life. He will never read this post but thank you Jocko for inspiring so many to see that 'Discipline Equals Freedom.' Google him, folks, if you do not know of this American hero and his work.
I need the channels of discipline to keep me focused on what is important.
And so - I am willing to share more of my journey with you. If you need help in any way with spiritual disciplines let me know. I would love to share with you what I've learned so far.