dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish


Unexpected Means of Grace

I would like to think that I could be more disciplined through sheer resolve. I'm learning, however, that God often uses increased responsibilities to bring about greater discipline in my life.

For several years, I have desired to operate on an "earlier schedule." Rather than staying up until the early morning hours and sleeping as late as the day's responsibilities would allow, I have wanted--and tried and failed, multiple times--to be more disciplined in this area, especially so that I could begin each day in the Word. Of course, merely setting my alarm earlier would not be effective if I did not also adjust my schedule the evening before. For days or even weeks I might succeed, but then, one way or another. . . late nights and the sleep button.

But a strange thing happened this summer. I got a job, and the job had a thirty-five mile commute. In order to shower, eat breakfast, pack a lunch, and leave for work by 6:45, I had to set my alarm for 6:00. This did not provide much (any) flexibility. From mid-May through August (minus a few trips), Monday through Friday, I had to wake up at six. This, of course, provided plenty of motivation for retiring earlier the night before.

By the time the fall school semester began, I had been doing this for longer than ever before. By God's grace, I was able to continue. Now with finals week ahead, and fifteen weeks of classes behind, I've risen by 6:30 all but two school mornings. For some of you, this may seem like nothing. Perhaps you've been getting up at 5:30 each morning for the past ten years. But for me, this is exciting. Reading my Bible before a dozen other things are on my mind is fruitful, and helps to transform my outlook on the day's responsibilities.

Of course, there's still a lot of room for more discipline. It's difficult to retire early on Friday and Saturday evenings. And Christmas break will be a test: with no job and no school for three weeks, it will be tempting to set the alarm back. But sitting down with my Bible in the early morning has become my favorite part of the day; I hope that, by God's grace, it will continue to be.

What similar experiences have you had? How had God used increasing responsibilities on your life as a means of grace?



Blogger Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Very cool! Especially that you maintain such a schedule on the weekends. I'll be praying that you maintain it over the holidays!

I'm not good at controlling finances. And that doesn't mean I spend impulsively or frivolously, it means I don't track my expenses and forget to tithe. Recently, having a tuition bill due every month has helped me realize that I can't forget about my bank account. I've got to plan for a $2,000 monthly expense! Also, one of these days I'll have to cover housing, transportation, food, etc. on my own, and I need a budget for all that. Especially if I'm going to cultivate the gift of giving.

12/11/2007 11:09 PM


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