On the 3rd Day, discipline
When I was very young, either 7 or 8years (it could have even been six), I took part in a school pageant. I don’t remember the details, but I remember no one won – or rather, everyone won. Whichever way you looked at it, I was slightly disappointed but that’s not the focus here. Each contestant had to pick a topic of interest, write and memorize a speech on it and recite that speech on the day of the pageant. It was a tedious process: re-writing, memorizing, editing and dramatizing the speech. In retrospect, what seemed like a 4-page speech then, was probably a page-long write-up, written in font size 48.
The topic I had (which was most probably chosen for me), was ‘Indiscipline among the youth in Ghana’. I remember ending the speech with a confident declaration and question: “…I will be the first woman president of Ghana and when the time comes, will you vote for me?”. Of course it was very cute seeing a 7-year old infant make ambitiously bold statements; so everyone responded “Yes!” and applauded me. Fifteen years down the line, and I’m probably the most indiscipline of all my parents’ four children. They’re all very prim and proper and I’m… well – let’s just say a “free spirit”. LOL!
Whether or not that is a justified excuse, I have learnt from different sources that Jesus was fully man. If he was, he must have been a VERY strong-willed man! I realize that it must have taken a high level of dedication to do the things he did. Jesus would walk from town to town preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, right? Then he will wake up before dawn to pray and fellowship with God while others were sleeping (reference: Mark 1: 35) – and these are just the things that made it into the bible. He probably had a very long list of counselees – his disciples seem to have had a lot of issues. The point here is, Jesus was a guy that stuck to routine and I like to think He knew what was at stake – imagine if the voice which came from the cloud in Luke 9:35 said, “This is My son, but there is much more to be desired from him. Pay no mind to Him…”. That’s not what happened: The Father consistently proclaimed His approval of The Son. The bible hints in Luke 22:39 and Luke 4:16 that Jesus had developed some good habits over his short stay on earth and from the way I see it, these habits were the outcome of the disciplined lifestyle The Father approved.
Paul talks about training the body to be disciplined, such that he can preach the Gospel and live by it. He says: “I discipline my body and keep it under control (ESV)” / “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection (KJV) / training the flesh or “strike a blow to his body (NIV) – wow. Just wow.
If 2016 taught me nothing at all, it at least taught me this: discipline is required to live an approved life. This year, I have made a conscious effort to dedicate at least an hour a day to prayer. Mind you, this was supposed to be aside normal fellowship time, and the struggle has been real!!! It seems so effortless, the way everything is mapped out in God’s word but it really isn’t.
If Jesus was a man, then he must have known how sweet sleep can get especially after a long days’ journey but this man also knew the standards he had to live up to. He couldn’t afford to be mediocre in doing what He was supposed to do, even when no one would be supervising Him – and really, that’s just what discipline is. If my True Love did it and expects that of me, then that is what I must give back.
This Christmas, I will work on being disciplined by exercising some restraint on that extra piece of chicken 😩 but don’t let me limit you, think far and wide on ways you can make good use of what your True Love gave to you… here’s to a more disciplined you!
See you tomorrow!!!
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