Friday, January 17, 2014

An invitation and my RSVP

Today I felt convicted.

I can hear fifty different challenges to do this or that in the Christian life and 49 of them won't mean a thing to me. I hear 49 of them and say an easy, "No, that's not for me, not right now." But today, I heard the one. The one invitation out of 50 that pricked at my spirit; it was something I'd heard in a sermon on the radio. As I listened, I thought, "Wait, is this for me? I think so..?"

And then twenty minutes later, as I sat in Bible Study, I heard the same thing being suggested by a person in the room. Two hits in an hour. Same challenge. Same nudge in my spirit to just say Yes.

I hesitate to even tell you what the thing is, because I don't want you to be distracted by the thing. It's far from the point of my thoughts here. But I felt convicted about not reading God's word often enough, not craving it and loving it like I want to. And so the challenge was to get up 30 minutes earlier every day and BEFORE you touch ANYTHING else - coffee, your phone, toothpaste - before any other thing, you read God's word. Period. 30 minutes, for 30 days.

And I want to do it. Well, actually, I don't want to. Who wants to do that, really? But I want a change in my heart more than I want to sleep longer. I want to lean into Jesus more than I want to be comfortable. I want to want to listen to His words more than I want anything else, but I don't. Yet.

It's altogether simple and incredibly difficult at the same time because this challenge requires one thing, the "d" word: discipline.

I cringe at the word. There is nothing on earth pleasantly associated with that word. No one likes either to be disciplined by someone else, nor do they like to discipline themselves. Our nature instead lunges at what feels good, is partial to whims, laziness, and compulsion. Oh, and sleep, when it's dark outside. And guess what? In Montana, it's dark until a ridiculously late hour of the morning. When I wake up, it's a black as midnight outside. Frankly, that bugs me.

What's even dumber is that I would never EVER buy into the idea that I could be a good parent without disciplining my kids. When I stand in the shoes of a parent, it is so crazy obvious to me that a healthy person needs discipline. But when I stand in the shoes of the child that I am in my own heart, the immaturity digging it's heels in here and there, I fold my arms and complain like a toddler who pushes her peas around on the plate.

I will lovingly, patiently, and carefully discipline my own children in every area of life (on most days, let's be real), but I am so very babyish about disciplining my own self. As I sat in Bible Study, pondering this today, I got increasingly annoyed at this contrasting truth. I am nearly 40 years old, and still haven't mastered self-discipline. Not even remotely. That bugs me too.

But I'm thankful my true Love cares about me too much to leave me where I am. He is always the one beckoning me, charming me to His side. What a privilege we have that we can be in a living, dynamic relationship with the God of the universe and the God who knows my every thought, follows my every breath.

I will put forth my best effort to jump into this new routine for one reason only: when He calls, I know He only has my best in mind. And I suspect He is not bidding me to work, but to romance. He is not drawing me to lessons and rules, but to intimacy and to refresh the desperate parts of my heart I don't even see. I am already feeling a bit romanced, actually, like the greatest guy ever just stuck a slip of paper with his phone number under my windshield wiper and it is up to me to dial.

RSVP'ing to a better life than the one I had yesterday?

Yes is my reply.

Have a great weekend, friends.



  1. Yes, I am in. Ironically God showed me the same thing yesterday thru a radio sermon. I asked God to show me why I continue to struggle so much. He showed me how much I need His Word to fight the daily battles. The sword of truth. I read most days, but I haven't studied and searched the way I used to. I read because I knew it was right and good, but I had lost that love and passion for His Word. This morning I got up early and read with a renewed heart and desire. What a blessing to have that time. His Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path and I have been stumbling down half lit pathways for to long. So 30 days... and then forever, right? :) Thank you for the encouragement and the challenge Leslie!

  2. oh, i do love this.
    i have been made acutely aware recently of my lack of self discipline and SELF CONTROL.
    HE is my only Hope. i need Him every minute.
    i may just join you in this.
    after all, i'm ALWAYS complaining at the kids for 'interrupting me' in MY time. ugh!
    getting up earlier would definitely remedy that! :)

  3. love it. i am jumping in. now. it's never too late. haven't been on your blog, for some time. but for some reason. tonight. was the night. thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Leslie, this is so good. Getting up early is rough! Love the part about God romancing us :)