Skipped a few Sundays at church…Can you just pick up where you left off?
Skipped a few daily quiet times…Can you just pick up where you left off?
Skipped a few workouts…Can you just pick up where you left off?
Skipped healthy foods in favor of “feel good” foods…Can you just pick up where you left off?
These are the questions I’ve been asking myself lately as I attempt to “pick up where I left off.”
Truthfully, I’ve been “out of the loop” for almost two months, both physically and spiritually. Granted I did just have a baby in December, so my physical fitness is no where close to what it was pre-baby. More than just my activity level lacking though, so has my spiritual activity.
Once the doctor cleared me to resume normal activity, I just thought I would be able to jump back into my 3 mile walks 3-4 times a week, but halfway through my first loop, my body reminded me that I gave birth to a human a few months ago. Three miles right away wasn’t going to happen, so I pushed myself to finish one lap instead.
Before giving birth, I lead two separate bible studies and maintained fairly consistent daily prayer and quiet times, and now I’m lucky to find time and remember to read a devotional. As for prayer, it’s become more like thinking of the person and praying while I go about my day.
So what happened? How did my spiritual and physical well being change so drastically?
As I asked God this question, He reminded me that I am in a different season of life now.
Instead of being discouraged by my lack of progress, or miss my previous life season, I’m encouraged that God loves me so much to bring me back to basics of a good disciple, commitment and discipline.
He loves us so much that he desires our commitment and discipline IN EVERY SEASON. This commitment and discipline doesn’t always (and often won’t) look the same in every season.
Before I became a mom, yoga, swimming, and kickboxing classes were part of my weekly fitness regimen. Nowadays it is a huge accomplishment to take a walk around the neighborhood,and bonus points for me if I somehow manage to walk the dogs too.
Before I became a mom, I woke up early after a full night’s sleep to leisurely sit down with my bible and a cup of coffee to spend time with Jesus. Nowadays I scroll through a new mom devotional one-handed on my Ipad while nursing my daughter, and pray for others throughout the day as they come to mind. (Currently, I’m typing this one handed while she is asleep on my chest).
It doesn’t look the same, but both are driven by commitment and discipline. These are not possible without God.
Commitment and Discipline are displayed in many stories in the bible. One story that demonstrates both is the story of Ruth.
After Naomi’s sons die, she tells her daughter-in-laws to, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home..” (Ruth 1:8) Her one daughter-in-law obeys and leaves Naomi to return home, but Ruth says/and does something different.
But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely,if even death separates you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17.
Can you see where the commitment is in that? She doesn’t commit because she knows the outcome, she commits because she loves, (and you know where I’m going with this part…)
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Ruth didn’t turn her back on her mother-in-law when things got tough, she didn’t use her husband’s as an easy out, instead she choose to honor her commitment, even though she was unsure where it would take her.
Now if you know the story of Ruth, several more things happened, one of them being she “offers” herself to Boaz (a close relative of Naomi) per Naomi’s instructions.
One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.” Ruth 3:1-4
Ruth’s response is not to ask more questions, or complain or make excuses, but instead without hesitation she agrees.
“I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do. Ruth 3:5-6
Ruth demonstrates discipline in this situation because she obeys what Naomi tells her and does not get distracted. She completes the task at hand, imagine how different our lives would be if we were able to remain committed and disciplined?
My sweet friends I would love to hear from you below, what are some other stories in the bible that demonstrate commitment and discipline?