Love, Self-discipline, and Monty Python

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of   SELF-DISCIPLINE.”  

II Timothy 1:7 NIV

In my room in Auburn, with what little decorating skills I have, I have hung up a chalkboard with a verse written in my very best artsy-esque penmanship a verse from Luke. Mary has just been told by the Angel that she will be the virgin-mother of Jesus, and in strong-faithful woman words she says, “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” 

niWhen, I first moved back to Auburn, I found  Mary so admirable. Jesus’s grace had just accepted all of my failures again, scooped me up out of my fears, and was pushing me through a new door to my next adventure. I wanted this verse to be a daily reminder to daily submit and worship to this gracious Father, so I might know what he wanted me to do next.

I don’t have enough hours or breaths in my throat to exclaim all the crazy, wonderful things He has shown me since then. I mean my life is such a testimony of what a gracious Jesus we have.

This post isn’t about that though. (The next paragraph is thought-process writing)

It’s about now, ok Jesus, You know, last season was pretty emotional for me, and I did the whole journal and write lots of notes in my Bible thing. We moved across the country and back, you gave me the most special animal to fill my heart after I lost one, I’ve seen You do some crazy things.. and NOW, I’m working an 8-5 accounting job and eating Momma G’s 3x a week. I mean, ok, certainly there was a reason for all of this.

Monty Python's 5But now what? Where to next? I’ve got my armor of God, I’ve got my Bible all high-lighted, and I’ve finally mastered contouring my cheekbones. Now, shouldn’t I be running off with someone who appreciates these contoured cheekbones on some new adventure?! Could You really have plans for me to glorify you during this?

(I write like Yoda. But, literally conversation with Jesus right there.)

In my time of waiting, I’ve learned a few things. (I say learned, but it’s more like my sub-consciense reminds me after I forget and then I forget again.)

I’ve got to stay connected to God and his purpose. In my time of waiting for my next big adventure I just daily ask God to open windows that I can glorify him. knightIt’s weird some of the ways I’ve found to serve, I never realized were options before. It makes me feel weird to give examples, but when you ask Jesus to show you opportunities to love people he’ll throw some things at you. (I will say, the Lee County Literacy Coalition would love you to volunteer and tutor this fall! It’s so easy, and kids need someone like you to laugh at their jokes and make reading fun!)

I’m a bit of a cheater. If I even feel like Jesus is about to tell me something, I just run at the nearest wall. Like why would Christ tell me to run into a wall? I don’t know, I just thought I needed to do something, now, really fast. I feel like my tank is full, just tell me where to go into battle Jesus. I’m not timid; I can love… wait, what self-discipline?

I think I just threw-up in my mouth.

tis-but-aSelf-discipline. So Hebrew says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.” You have got to be kidding me. So basically self-inflicting pain? Let’s skip this step. I mean, can’t we sing Gospel songs and go on our merry way? Way, to win me over Jesus, I have a pretty high pain tolerance, so to actually make a mark on me that’s got to be some pretty deep stuff.  I, mean ok, resemble Mary, “may it be to me as you have said.”

I’m breathing deeply, ok. Christ self-sacrificed himself to me on a cross, and I suck. So, I can do this . At least let me take a step there..

How promising and encouraging it is though then to read on. (Patience Claire, finish the sentence you’re reading) For we aren’t self-mutilating ourselves or carrying a cross for naught, instead Hebrews finishes,

“Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Suddenly, I’m encouraged. What a thing to behold, a peace from Jesus. This peace that means you don’t have to second-guess your next step, you can be content in God’s grace.

So, in what feels like a lull of life, a simple bridge to the next adventure, it’s actually such a critical time of training. I’m learning how to discern God’s path versus what the world tells me to do. I’m learning how to love people. There’s self-discipline in daily laying out my personal dreams and goals, rather than running to the cute boy in the pickup truck who winks at my contoured cheekbones. (Because when it rains, all my makeup and contour is gonna wash off, and then what? No Taylor Swift dancin’ in the rain for you)

Back to topic.

Let’s finish with something funny.

I encourage you to watch Monty Python before you go and vote! There something funny and political. Jesus, politics, and comedy all in one blog. I’m going to bed

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