Words from the Journal of a student of spiritual discipline
September 7 - 8, 2011 - As I have indicated in previous writings, I long for and watch for affirmation of the words that come to me. This week I experienced one of the strongest so far. The story has three parts. On 9/7/2011 I wrote in my journal and, as shown below, focused on discipline. I then decided that these words definitely were to be posted as soon as possible. So that afternoon while waiting in my Dentist's waiting room, I composed an introduction, which as you will see below, also focused on discipline, entitlement and a society with no limits. The next morning, 9/8/2011, I decided to continue reading in a book titled, "Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life" by Richard Rohr. As I continued my reading on pages 49 and on, I see my introduction coming right back at me. Words like entitlement, no limits and too many folks wearing "I am special" buttons - in essence no discipline. So I know that the words were given to me in order to share with you, the reader.
The introduction: While in my journal this morning, I once again became aware of my lack of discipline. I then dwelt for awhile on how discipline is probably different for everyone. I reflect back on a Spiritual Discipline class I participated in several years ago. Most of the class gave up! Not to criticize anyone, but I think the D word - discipline - has a bad connotation in contemporary America, First we have been led to less and less "discipline" of our children by, in my opinion, a bunch of nut case sociologists and psychologists. Our society is and will continue paying a severe price for our misguided ways, Secondly, we have also become impatient and unwilling to spend the necessary time in learning a trade or business. No one wants to be an apprentice anymore. Everyone wants immediate gratification and expects big paychecks without the necessary skills. Our entitlement society is crumbling around us. Thus, not surprisingly, we don't have the discipline to study, pray or even read our Bibles.
From the journal: "... My dreams last night were standard dreams of frustration - how to progress when every step in every direction comes up short. I awoke and came to write! I know I was guided through the dreams to get up and come to the Holy Spirit for guidance and my words for this time. Not just for today, but for years to come - for others to read, digest and act upon. Of course, the "me in me" gets in the way. My lack of discipline has weakened my connection with Sophia (Holy Spirit). I am as a stranger! We talk and understand different words. It is only through discipline and concentration that one's spirit is released to soar with the eagles - to receive the love of God. Pastors tend to push "staying in the word (Bible) or staying in prayer." Both good and excellent, but I believe that we have all been given spiritual gifts - those listed in the Bible plus others that we can't even understand. We must use our personal gift to approach God thru Sophia, I know that mine is to journal! It is a form of prayer for me and of communing with the holy ones. It is how I "see" into the great beyond. But back to discipline - one must practice - long and hard! We must use our spiritual muscle constantly to make it strong. A muscle we can rely on when the going gets tough. It's a matter of faithfulness. Not that we are denied because we wander away, but our ability to receive and accept is diminished. Our window to God's guidance becomes dirty and clouded when we lose discipline! Exercise your spiritual muscle! all the time! Amen"