Making up your mind about the trait of discipline is tough. Let’s decide with a quality decision to just do it. When we are double minded and are wavering back and forth about what we want we are just dreaming and fantasizing about what it might be like if….. if what?
Life is filled with what if’s?
What could life be like if I did this or invested in that? I guess that’s the million dollar question for everyone. What if you actually made a solid decision and just did it. Rolled up your sleeves and did the work it required.
A Quality I Admire
My mother has a quality that I admire. She gets laser focus and dog determination when she wants something. Nothing and I mean nothing will stop her from accomplishing whatever it is that she is trying to accomplish. She has been known to work circles around most men.
Sadly, I do not have that trait. I get tired quicker, but my mother, she can throw down some serious energy and strength to get er done. If necessary she could move a refrigerator with or without you. I’m joking, but not really. For a small lady she has some freakish Hulk strength. It’s a gift that not all of us girls are gifted with, especially this one.
My family used to tell me to “just hold the door” on moving day. I could move boxes but Armoire’s and sleeper couches were my limits. I mean we are girls. I never regretted that decision, I saved a lot of doors and wasn’t bad at “helping” them load the heavy pieces.
Just between you and I, they didn’t need my strength at all, I would let go to test them and they proved to me how strong they really were. Of course, they did not know this information and I was thrilled to let them be strong. My sister is strong like our mom too. Somehow, I got left out of the “strong girl” category. I smile because I really don’t care and chances are you don’t either.
Now let’s move onto what this blog is supposed to be about. Discipline. We all have discipline for things we want really bad, we seem to have a built in switch when we need the perseverance to kick in. We usually can conjure up the energy and resources for the things we want to do but what about the things that we need to do?
Do we start things but not finish them?
Take a minute and think about things you may have started but didn’t follow through on. Do you have a lot of those? Maybe it is that one thing that you lost interest in or realized it didn’t fit you well? Don’t beat yourself up here. It is trying things that we discover the things that don’t fit our shape well. If you’re a circle then don’t try to fit into the mold of being a square, just be you.
The things that fit you well will be fitting you like a nice suit, you were born to wear it. God called you to it. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to develop it, but it means God had you in mind with your particular set of skills and talents for the job. You know, kinda like Liam Neeson in “Taken”. He had a particular set of skills for the job of saving his family. A dangerous butt- kicking set of skills, but He developed and delivered with his skills. Have you seen the movie? It’s pretty awesome so do yourself a favor and have a movie night.
Did you start college but stopped short? What if you went back and finished that degree?
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
If it was easy everyone would be doing it. It’s not easy but why should that stop you from doing it? It’s about heart and discipline, but mostly it is about vision. It’s vision that propels you to develop the discipline and determination to establish whatever it is you are trying to achieve.
Believe in the process of discipline.
It is developing you for the end result of your goal. Stay on the path. Venturing off the path will lead to pitfalls and digression. Obstacles are more effective when you leave the path. They are meant to be detours to distract you from your destination.
Obstacles are what we see when our eyes leave the goal.
Do we soberly count the cost of what it will be required of us?
Which of you intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.
1) Begin with the end in mind.
Quality decisions not emotional decisions bring results. Staying focused on your goal. The end product keeps you focused and moving towards it.
2) Saying no to the insignificant things so you can say yes to the priority things.
3) Remove temptations to get you off tasks that move you toward your end goal.
4) Keep doing it daily
5) When you have an off day forgive yourself and get back on task.
6) Reward yourself for each milestone met.
Never trade what you want the most for what you want at the moment.
This quote makes me think of Esau in the Bible. He was willing to exchange his birthright for a momentary, morsel of pleasure.
How about you?
The opportunity of a lifetime shows up and you choose to shun it because the time of your life is in the moment. In the feeling. In the now. Maybe, you rationalize telling yourself that you have plenty of time to do it. You sit back, convince yourself that “someday” or “ one day” you will do it. Then you realize you said that a year ago or 5yrs ago.
And then one day comes and your old, and regret is staring you in the face and you fear that you will be buried with all the dreams and desires you had all because “ one day ” didn’t arrive for you. It was there but you chose to ignore it and chose other things, things that weren’t as hard, as disciplining or required as much of you. And you settled. Not because you weren’t able but because you weren’t willing.
Maybe your easily distracted like me. Don’t use it as an excuse, deal with it so you can move on. Pray about it.Talk to your doctor. Get medicine. Whatever it is for you deal with it so it doesn’t interfere with what you need to accomplish.
Jesus mentions this about some people in the Bible. Let’s look at this passage.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the ones who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing
v 35) See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see me until the time comes when you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Now this passage is dealing with salvation and the people within Jerusalem but the same principle can apply to our lives where our talents are concerned. Our unwillingness to develop and discipline ourselves can lead to our internal lives being desolate and undeveloped.
Those things we have invested in and developed generally bring us the most joy. The joy comes at the end because of hard work and dedication. The pay off is seeing the fruit of your labors. Getting the degree. Starting the business. Conquering your fear of public speaking. Writing the book. Taking the class. Getting the promotion you have worked hard for.
Don’t make excuses for yourself, excuses are just lies we use to fit into what we don’t want to be doing with our time and energy. Funny how there are no excuses or reasons we need to find to expel the energy or time to invest in what appeals to our senses and fleshly desires. I can always develop the fortitude to shop or scroll through Facebook or hop on Pinterest. Hang out with friends. Netflix binge. The devil and just life stuff distracts us from what we need to be giving our attention to.
What about you? We have a lot more time and resources available to us if we use them wisely and are proactive in our lives with our time. Dig in, the world is waiting for your talent, your gift, your degree.
The best way to sum it up is with a quote from John Piper.
“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him”
So, go and develop. Discipline yourself. Just like the fish and loaves that Jesus multiplied to feed the masses. Your life and talent was meant to help many and to be shared with the world around you. Just do it.