Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Celebrating Discipline

My church men's group will commence a new study built around Richard J. Foster's Celebration of Discipline, first published in 1978. It has been about that long since I read it. I have to ask what I would be like now, 30 years later, had I applied the disciplines Foster describes to my life.

But that was then, and this is now.

On page 5 of the edition I'm reading, Foster writes of "will worship," the worship of the will. He quotes from Col. 2:20-23, the KJV, which reads:

Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.[My bold].

My mind went straight to David Allen! If I can just get my life arranged in a certain way; just force myself to do the weekly survey; manage my tickler file; sort through that in-box and make the decisions that must be made: then life will calm down, and I will be happy (that is, blessed). It's "will-worship!" Plainly!

So, here we go with the Disciplines. One word of caution from Foster that I would note: "to know the mechanics does not mean we are practicing the Disciplines."

It would be fine for my kith and kin to pray that in 2009 the Spiritual Disciplines would become for me, as Foster writes, "an inward and spiritual reality . . . the inner attitude of the heart [that] is far more crucial than the mechanics for coming into the reality of the spiritual life."

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