Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Of discipline and contentment

From JOY AND STRENGTH by Mary Wilder Tileston, A lack of discipline in one’s life just keeps you from growing and being obedient. As Paul said, ‘I therefore so run not as uncertainly, so fight I not as one that beats the air, but I keep under my body and bring it into subjection.’" This reading is from H. L. Sidney Lear. "The slack, indolent temperament disposed to self-indulgence and delay will find a very practical and helpful discipline in strict punctuality, a fixed habit of rising to the minute when once a time is settled on, in being always ready for meals or the various daily matters in which our unpunctuality makes others uncomfortable. Persons have found their whole spiritual life helped and strengthened by steadfastly conquering a habit of dawdling or of reading newspapers and bits of books, when they ought to be settling about some duty."

Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels good. - unknown

The greatest source of unhappiness is our giving up what we want most in the long-run for what we think we want now. - unknown

I count him braver who conquers his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self. - Aristotle

God no where tells us to give up things for the sake of giving them up. He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having: life with Himself. - Oswald Chambers

Even Socrates, who lived a very frugal and simple life, loved to go to the market. When his students asked about this, he replied, "I love to go and see all the things I am happy without."

I eat a calorie reduced, low fat, low carb diet. My body gets what it needs and I am satisfied. I am not hungry. I have cravings though. And they are very strong. But they are not real needs, not real hunger... they are HABITS.

My parallel is this: God gives me what I need. It is what He has promised, and He will do it. I need to learn to be satisfied with that. The problem comes when I crave more. The craving creates a false sense of need, a large empty room, as it were, that begs filling. And when God leaves it empty, we pout and complain about His lack of attention to us.

May I set aside my false needs and learn to be satisfied with Him alone.

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