Posts Tagged ‘discipline’

Hope and patience are partners. They are the ones who sit with us when we are waiting for the change to come. Hope implies change.

Romans 8:24-25
For in [this] hope we were saved. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For how can one hope for what he already sees? But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure.

Chapter 8 of Romans is really quite mystical as Paul deliberates on all of creation waiting for the ultimate redemption when humans become like Jesus, when humans become complete and our own triune natures become truly One. How else would it be possible for the lion to eat with the lamb and “. . . they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” [Isaiah 11:9]

How else can we wait but in patience? We cannot make this happen. We can only do our small part in this age of transformation: give ourselves fully to the hope and walk today in faith.

In the Cursillo communities, they say our Christian walk is supported by a three-legged stool: piety (prayer), study (word), and action (works). I believe this too. But before, these three can take root, one must be sure that three other legs are in place: faith, hope, and love.

Piety, study, and action are disciplines and should be natural outgrowths of our faith and love. Our strength to persevere comes from our hope. It’s active waiting.

I choose to walk and wait in hope this day. Keep me mindful. Keep me in the moment.

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In Paul’s time, wholeheartedness meant more than just enthusiasm or sincerity. It was a single minded devotion; it was the whole spirit in focus. Only God knows if we are wholehearted in our faith.

Romans 1:9-10a
God, whom I [Paul] serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times…

As the information age took over the past decade, one of the initial assumptions was that everyone would have to be able to multi-task. There is so much to see and so much to read. The only way to capture it all was to have lots of “views” and “tabs” and “screens.” It was not uncommon for a computer owner to have multiple monitors or a monitor so big that a number of images could be displayed simultaneously. Time management was the buzzword and the goal was to eke out productivity from every available second. We were like teenagers convinced we could listen to music, watch television, play a video game, and do homework all at the same time. Good grades were the proof it worked.

Interestingly enough, this trend is actually abating. Some of the latest productivity gurus are now advocating single focus. They say, do one thing completely and with full attention, and work gets done faster and more accurately. A divided mind is like “RAM” in a computer, only so much can be allotted to each task. The brain’s computing power does have limitations.

How often do people say they cannot pray or meditate effectively because of a racing mind that continues to juggle a vast array of responsibilities, plans, and duties. We are actually losing the ability to be single-focused.

Currently, one of my spiritual disciplines is praying the hours (Morning, Midday, Vespers, and Night). This practice is only four times a day when I am to shut out everything else to read, chant, and pray. Ten minutes. And yet, my day gets sucked up into “busy-ness,” and I miss my time. There is no condemnation for missing. There is just loss of what God was ready to give in that moment.

Wholeheartedness and single focus is a time investment. It’s a discipline. It’s a commitment to whatever is before me. Today has potential for wholeheartedness… if I give way.

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