I don’t know about you, but I have often found myself to be the master of setting goals and then caving in due to a lack of discipline. I can’t help but think that I am not unique in this reality of being weak and that many of you may also share in this inequity.
It is known that to be disciplined means that one can forgo self-pleasure. To be disciplined means that one can defer a gratification and can deny oneself.
What is it that you desire in your life?
What are the obstacles that are preventing you from obtaining these desires?
Are you too fat?
Are you lonely?
Are you unhappy?
Are you unhealthy?
Are you poor?
It isn’t that being thin, popular, happy, healthy, and rich that can solve all of your problems, or even can create a wonderful life. But lets be honest, are these not the things that are often on our minds?
Yet, when one is grounded in life and has deep convictions, there is usually a sense of peace also present. When one creates a life that has a core component of discipline, there seems to be also tranquility. We all too often fall into the trap of searching for happiness by looking outside of ourselves. This endless search will always produce the same results, a sense of being unfulfilled and a longing for more.
The true answers in life come from within. Yet it takes an ability to empty oneself of everything selfish, prideful, and envious to see what is still there. Once the inner being has been purged and cleansed, our soul can then expand and unite with the holiness that we possess within us as a Christian.
Once we rid our minds and hearts from the lies of the world, the false idols of money, fame, possessions, etc., we can see life for what it truly is. Christ didn’t say that to be happy one must possess and obtain everything that the culture dictates as necessary. He stated that to be free one must leave everything of this world behind and follow him. He even states that we should be like the birds and to not worry about where we will find our next meal, that we are to trust in God to provide. Yes this might seem a little extreme, at least from our current ability to understand. But it does help put some things into perspective. We often worry so much about the future that we miss seeing what is currently happening right in front of our eyes.
One doesn’t wake up one morning and become a disciplined person. This is a virtue that is grown, cultivated, and matures overtime. But just like a seed that is planted, it must be planted first before it can grow.
I challenge you to set one small goal, not huge, but rather simple. And then stop at nothing in regard to taking that first step and becoming disciplined with just this one simple task. Do it everyday, always, and master this simple task. Begin today, not tomorrow, but today. We often set huge goals and then fall short. It is no different than a couch potato of a man declaring that he will run a marathon without any training. He will either kill himself trying, or will fail due to the lack of training. The same is true in regard to discipline. We are to train at developing the virtue, start small and gradually build upon what we are developing and strengthening.
So for now..... Set one small goal and begin!