I have always struggled with discipline. I'm not very good at it. I'm more scattered and spontaneous.The idea of routine gives me heartburn. But, I know it's important. Needed. Healthy.
Friday night I cared for an 86 year old man who is dying of cancer. When I entered his home I immediately noticed that everything was in its place. He laid in his bed, flat on his back in a pair of button up pjs that were as neat as a pen. The night was still and quite in his home and I tried to keep myself busy (and awake) by dust mopping his floors and cleaning his furniture. These task did not give me a huge sense of accomplishment considering there was very little dust on my rags. At 3am. my patient woke to go to the bathroom. I assisted him and patiently waited outside the door. I noticed through the mirror that before returning to bed he carefully combed his hair making sure every strand was in place. I smiled to myself and thought, Wow, here is a man pushing his 90s, dying of cancer, and yet he makes sure that everything around him is accounted for, in its place, as it should be. He is DISCIPLINED. I whispered, "Im watching Lord."
The morning went right on cue. The coffee started brewing promptly at 6 am. He woke at 630 and has a routine for everything. Bathroom, office, shower, breakfast. He told me before he got out of bed. "I want my coffee black, sitting by my chair in my office on the coffee warmer." And, I prepared it. He sat down in his chair and said, "I will be in here for 30 minutes praying." And for exactly 30 minutes he drank his morning coffee and prayed. Every morning this is what he does. And I'd be willing to bet its been that way for years. Discipline. Faithfulness. And I watched.
There is a discipline that comes with solitude. A solitude that brings peace to us, even when we are faced with the shadows of death. We should all learn to sit at His feet early in the morning, and go away with Him to the higher places late in the evening. Jesus showed us an example of the discipline of solitude and rest. He made it clear that it was important.
"He went up on a mountainside by himself." Matthew 14:23
I read in my devotion this morning these words:
"Oh, how we need to reclaim the lost art of meditation! Oh, how we need "the secret place" as part of our lifestyle." -Streams in the Desert
Are you a disciplined person? Do you practice the discipline of solitude and rest? Do you think that it is important?