It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through. Zig Zigler
Wow! Thank you, Zig! As I thought about what I’ve committed to lately, for improving my quality of life, I began to think about that word – discipline. What does it take to be a disciplined person? Well, okay, what does it take for ME to be a disciplined person?
In my life, I’ve never really considered myself very disciplined about much of anything but raising a family. Here I am, over 50 admitting that I’d rather let life lead me than be in control – until now.
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” Jim Rohn
In order to be disciplined, I need to have a goal in mind. Without goals, accomplishment can’t be measured. Discipline puts me on track to attain success, with regard to every area of my life.
The goal I have now helps me to envision the energy I’ll have for my grandchildren, for hiking, for experiencing cross-country skiing, and getting back to horseback riding. Setting bodily goals have helped, too – weight loss, with an actual number in mind; removing cholesterol prescriptions from my shopping list.
For my goal of weight-loss and better health, discipline applies to how I live my life, daily, in measuring success. I’ve become a disciple, so to speak, of health articles, well-known experts in the field of health and those who’ve gone before me in the ‘quest’ for a better life. But, then there are fear, doubt, and lack of faith in myself that factor in to the level of success that I attain. And, in the past these have really destroyed my ability to succeed.
In my Christian life, it is my responsibility to know what Christ’s expectations of me are, and to move toward those goals daily. Jesus’ exhortations to his disciples – and to me – to love, to serve, forgive and keep the faith seemed simple enough, but in crunch times it may not be so simple.
It’s comforting that the original disciples had some of the same fears, doubts and lack of faith. They were with Jesus and saw all the miracles and his healing power, yet experienced a doubt in their own abilities to truly follow him. Peter began to sink in the water, until Jesus touched him and he rose to the top and was able to walk with Jesus. Jesus didn’t ridicule Thomas for his doubt. Instead he blessed him and those who would believe without seeing the wounds. And, of course, again Peter feared for himself, and denied Jesus three times on that fateful morning.
Each time these low points occurred, the disciples who continued to follow Jesus regrouped and moved forward in faith. They knew that Jesus forgave them, and not only did he forgive them, he gave them strength to start again.
So, when I have a weak evening or even a whole weekend, where I indulge more than I should in food and drink that don’t nourish my body, the temple, I can regroup and move forward knowing that I have strength in Christ. I don’t have to give up and give in completely. As a true disciple, I can instead do what I would do for someone else – forgive and move on.
Mary Boscaino is a free-lance writer, specializing in prayerful spirituality. She has written for Prayables.com and Everyday Christian.