What did you do the last time you woke up super early in the morning?
How is a discipline uncomfortable or inconvenient?
When was the last time you gave up something in order to pray or study?
The alarm goes off early, too early to seem reasonable. But for an athlete in training, the alarm clock serves as a reminder of the discipline essential for excellence. In order to fit in quality training as well as the demands of everyday life, early mornings are usually a must. The discipline can be exhausting, but it’s also invigorating. It produces growth. It sets the tone for the day, because when the day begins with discipline, it continues in purpose and productivity.
Our spiritual lives require discipline as well. We often want discipline to be convenient. We want to learn in a class or through a book we read when we have time, but discipline is sacrificial. It’s usually inconvenient and often uncomfortable. It’s setting aside what you want and yielding to what you need. If discipline was easy, it likely wouldn’t produce true growth. We regularly say we don’t have time or energy to pray or read the Bible more, but we really want to and wish we could fit more prayer and study into our daily lives.
The excuses we give for lacking discipline are usually pitiful. Of course, we don’t need to get legalistic about reading and praying, but we often excuse our disinterest or apathy with the rationale that we don’t want to get legalistic or go overboard. We know God wants a relationship, and we reason He wouldn’t want us to just go through the motions. So, we excuse our laziness. We stay in bed and hit the snooze button. It’s time to get up.
Set your alarm five minutes earlier before you go to bed tonight. Five minutes might not seem like much but it’s a great start. Just remember you don’t need to fit a mold. Your prayer doesn’t have to meet the expectation you’ve set for yourself. It just needs to seek and honor God. You don’t have to read a full book of the Bible, just read a part of it. Start somewhere, anywhere. And when you feel as if you “fail” one day, don’t quit. Start again. God is always willing to accept what you would offer. Just don’t get lazy and make excuses.
Today’s post is part of a 30-day devotional of Adventures in Faith. A new post will be available each morning to launch your day with reflection questions, God’s Word, and a personal challenge.