It’s so true, isn’t it?
My friend says the same thing, a different way – “It’s not the weather I’m interested in…it’s the climate.”
Whether it’s for the good or the not-so-good, it’s the patterns that direct our lives – not the exceptions. As I begin 2014, I am very aware of this principle. I want the patterns of my life to be strong. I want the patterns of my life to move me forward, not backwards…and this takes good old self and self-discipline.
Being sick over the Christmas holidays, has given me lots of time to reflect. One of the changes that I have made is to commit to a Bible reading plan. I don’t want intentional Bible reading to be the exception in my days – I want it to be the pattern. I don’t want to be legalistic about it but I desire consistency.
There have been many times in my life when bible reading has been a real delight but I’ve neglected to routinely start my days with Jesus in the past six months and it’s had a negative impact on me. When I started doing some research, I was amazed at how many different reading plans are out there! I found a good paced reading plan that will get me through the entire bible once as well as through Proverbs and Psalms four times in two years.
This will work for me…but it won’t happen without discipline.
I’ve got to consciously remind myself to go to the Bible in the morning before I do anything else…so there’s lots of self talk going on these days.
It reminds me of a joke I recently heard:
A man observed a woman in the grocery store with her two-year-old daughter.
As they passed the cookie section, the child asked for cookies and her mother told her, “No.”
The little girl immediately began to whine and fuss, and the mother said quietly, “Now Ellen, we just have half of the aisles left to go through; don’t be upset. It won’t be long.”
The man passed the mother and daughter in the candy aisle. Of course, the little girl began to reach and shout for candy. When she was told she couldn’t have any, she began to cry again. The mother said, “There, there, Ellen; only two more aisles to go, and then we’ll be checking out.”
The man happened to be behind the pair at the check-out, where the little girl immediately began to beg for gum. She burst into a terrible tantrum when she realized that there was also not going to be any gum purchased this time. The mother patiently said, “Ellen, we’ll be through this check out stand in five minutes, and then you can go home and have a nice nap.”
The man followed them out to the parking lot and stopped the woman to compliment her. “I couldn’t help noticing how patient you were with little Ellen…”
The mother broke in, “My little girl’s name is Gloria… I’m Ellen.”
That’s what I’m talking about – a good dose of self talk goes a long way when it comes to self discipline.
I desire to make good choices, day in/day out that will help me press on and move forward. In my quiet time this morning, I read that a person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. (Proverbs 25.28)
I don’t want to be defenceless – I want to be strong.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5. 22,23