Thursday, April 11, 2013

Instrument of Righteousness

I never really considered myself as lacking in self-discipline.  I excelled in school and my chosen extracurricular activities.  I still am (mostly) a quiet peacemaker type who avoids conflict and is super empathetic (too empathetic, sometimes).  But, I think, at heart, I'm a closet lazy daisy.  I have a stubborn streak that resents being ordered around - even I'm the one doing the ordering!  Humans are such complex, silly creatures, aren't we?  Lack of self-discipline was nearly the death of me while pursuing my college degree.  I could fudge it well enough in the majority of classes because reading has never been a chore to me and I have a mind like a steel trap when it comes to memory recall, and I'm a naturally analytical thinker and writing comes easily to me.  But the one area where there's no such thing as fudging happened to be my chosen field - music.  See, this is my ornery, stubborn contrarian self rearing its head again.  Instead of choosing an area of study that came naturally to me, I chose to throw pragmatism to the wind and went with one of the relatively few areas that were a stretch to me.  And that's all well and good, except for that I struggled for all six years of my college career to put my nose to the grindstone.  I loved the idea of practicing religiously.  And, indeed, the few weeks where I had stuck with a consistent, solid practice schedule, I'd be positively giddy about being able to look forward to my violin lesson, rather than seeing my professor's office as a torture chamber.  But still, the full knowledge that I was going to pay the piper later for my lack of discipline was not enough to keep me from caving into my immediate desires to the detriment of my long-term goals and happiness.  I still struggle with the same tendencies.  I really, really, really hate to exercise.  But I love how I feel about myself when I do.  I feel strong, healthy, and in control.  And, getting up early to start the day with a walk pays dividends in so many other ways.  This morning I rolled out of bed at 5:30 and walked for 30 minutes in the quiet, brisk weather.  I used the time to pray and just to enjoy the slumbering world.  After I arrived back home, I enjoyed a warm breakfast of blueberry muffin oatmeal (the instant kind, don't worry - I wasn't THAT good) and two cups of coffee whilst reading at the table.  The kids were still asleep (with the exception of Hero, whom James had taken to the rink for a pre-school skating practice session), so I got to savor the moment all to myself.  I even had time to go upstairs and shower in peace, and finish nearly all of my morning beauty routine, before I heard the first stirrings of the "herd" around 6:50.  I opened the door feeling ready to face the day and it was wonderful.  But I've cycled through this before, and, after a few weeks, I peter out.  Clearly, self-discipline is not a skill set I possess naturally.  But the Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can accomplish all things, and so I give control over my lazy-daisy ways to Him.

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The death he died, he died to sin once and for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.  Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
Romans 6:10-13