2009: A Year of Discipline

This year has been nothing short of monumental in my life. No other year has contained such crazy things. The things are too numerous to easily recount without boring the moon to rest it’s sly lay for sunlight’s delight (just made up that wordy expression… kind of dumb… but it’s late, and I have to entertain myself somehow). Most people would probably not be able to appreciate a verbal description of this year in my life (it would sound trite to outside ears), so I will not try to verbosely do so. If I was able to actually remember all the colorful details of the experiences, I feel the rest of my lifetime could be spent describing them. Even so, I don’t like to glorify or overemphasize things. I tend to exaggerate when I’m trying to make a point about worldly things or am just in a silly, sarcastic mood. When it comes to deep things, I try my best to be honest and not make things more [insert adjective or descriptive quality] than they are.

Another healthy, wise realization that I try to keep in mind is: don’t dwell on the past or get caught up there to the detriment of the present and future. Comparing all times back to one glorious moment in one’s experience tends to disallow new experiences to develop the beauty and color that are plain to be seen in a comparison-free light.

Bad, awkward transition to a paragraph due to a long tangent in the opening paragraph… pause… reset… look at the post subject to remember the original train of thought.

I’ve been excited to pursue God this year. I believe the Spirit of God has driven me to consider spiritual disciplines in my life. Interestingly, nearly every path God has led me to follow has been confirmed in complementary movements in other believers near me, in my Bible reading, or other not-at-all-coincidental dealios (couldn’t complete sentence with a decent noun because my vocabulary sucks).

In truth, I’ve already named this year. I’ve called it a “Year of Prayer”. I’ve also made the implication that it is a year to Read the Bible. What, and now I call it “A Year of Discipline”? What other random ideas will I have in these last few months remaining? Will I assign another title next month? Perhaps! You just wait and see! 2009, the year of 2009 titles.

My titles aren’t meant to be prophetic or church-wide in nature. It is not my intention to describe the movements of the Spirit that can’t always be named or defined in an obvious package (John 3:8). These titles simply describe my own experience this year. I started off with a deep passion to spend a lot of time reading the Bible and praying. I also found myself inspired to get started in acts of service, both with my church family and in the surrounding community. In fact, my desires and passions for spiritual things have become diverse and constant – sometimes overwhelming.

Little did I know that Elder Dave would follow the Spirit’s leading and that direction would prove similar to how God was leading me. For the next year the Ethnos community is going to read “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster. I’m very excited about this book because it seems to perfectly mirror God’s movements deep in my soul. It is as if He was preparing me to be willing to accept the things in this book, which will in turn bring me into a deeper relationship with Him. I feel like this book is profound, one of the few books outside the Bible itself that should find its way to every bookshelf. Trust me, I’m one of those who is a little disillusioned about reading all the popular Christian inspirational books. I often get tired of it. Some of them seem to be written just to sell an idea or to maintain the expectation of an author to continue writing. This book is simply awesome (and I’ve only read the first chapter!).

I’ll be writing various reflective thoughts as I read “Celebrating Disciplines”. I already have a bunch of things I wish to write – too much for anyone to bear to read. Who cares! I need to write these things. If I don’t write and reflect, I forget. I cannot apologize for boring narrative. It is transforming and necessary for me. It is life! So know, that when you read (more likely skim) these boring blog entries, that rebirth is being developed and appreciated in light that casts shadows far away! It is good, but not yet finished.

In case you didn’t catch the implied coolness (especially if you don’t know the “12 disciplines” referenced in the aforementioned book), all the titles I assigned previously to 2009 are contained and completed in this new title “A Year of Discipline”. Yippee! The Spirit is awesome and hard to trace because His ways are so mysterious and unsearchable. But when you look back (or He gives you a glorious glimpse in the present or even of the future), it is so gleeful to consider what He has been doing through all the mystery. Ah, faith. I think it’s easier to just accept and expect that He’s going to do crazy awesome things… and yet in no way EVER get used to it. He is so amazing that angelic creatures (glorious even in of themselves, certainly in comparison to us) surround Him and notice something “new” or wonderful so often that they CONSTANTLY cry out “HOLY! HOLY! HOLY!” (take that in… meditate on it… it’s more profound than most things you’ll ever know in this world… I was struck when I heard it in a sermon this year… deserves a separate blog entry, if not a huge book) Isaiah 6:1-3, Revelation 4.

I’m a bit sleepy, so I don’t know if what I just wrote makes much sense. Oh well, back to reading Celebration of Discipline… then I’ll read some FAR SUPERIOR straight up Scripture (I admit, I’m a bit of a purist that way 😉 ).