Confession. Fasting. Solitude. Meditation. Study. Prayer. Simplicity. I’m sure these terms bring certain thoughts and emotions to mind for you. Maybe you think of a Monk sitting in his cell, alone. Maybe you think of those “overly-super-spiritual-types” always trying to show off. For the most part, these words, or Spiritual Disciplines, don’t prompt us to think about our “everyday Christian life.”
Sure we pray before we eat, on Sunday mornings, and before bed—if we can stay awake. And we make sure to study our verse or two for the day—if we have time. But for the most part these Disciplines, especially in their intense, prolonged forms are thought to be for the Spiritually elite.
Seriously, who has time to pray for a few hours a day? We’ve got jobs to report to, errands to run, kids to chauffeur, the list goes on. In general we think of these Spiritual Disciplines as for the monks, ministers, and the like. But what if we’re wrong? What if these disciplines are for the “everyday Christian life?”
Listen to and contemplate these words by William Law:
You would think it very absurd, for a man not to value his own health, because he was not a physician; nor the preservation of his limbs because he was not a bone-setter. Yet it is more absurd for you, [your name here], to neglect the improvement of your soul in piety, because you are not an Apostle, or a bishop.
Isn’t it odd that we go to such extremes to keep our temporary mortal bodies healthy, yet when it comes to keeping our permanent immortal souls healthy, we might try—if we have the time. We all know people who read almost nonstop about physical health (vaccines, nutrition, exercise, essential oils, weight loss, natural remedies, hereditary disease, etc), maybe you find yourself in this group. Yet, many of those same people, many of us, don’t have enough time to read our Bibles and pray, let alone think about fasting, solitude, or any of the other disciplines.
May we realize what is at stake. May we recognize the temporal fleeting nature of these earthly bodies that are but a mist. May we give as much, if not more, attention to our spiritual health as we do our physical health. May we have the strength and desire to follow Christ and be conformed to His image the more we know Him.
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