Discipline and Disciple

My first thought is, “Oh my gosh, this is going to take so much discipline.”

To not worry.

To not pack the knapsack the the night before, not double-check the school website, not insist on writing that one last email before bed. To stick to the new diet when it feel so odd and seems to be so expensive. To go to bed with the sun when the to-do list isn’t done. To not panic when I see that class is half an hour earlier than I thought it was.

I apparently have a hair-trigger on panic right now. Everything seems like a crisis. I have to remind myself again and again, “God has a plan. God already knew that. There’s still plenty of time for God.

But my second thought is, “Wait, discipline?” I’ve felt for  a long time that it bodes very ill for my internal state when I catch myself thinking “I’VE worked so hard. . .” I’ve? “I’ve” means my head isn’t screwed on straight. It means I’m still thinking it all depends on me. What does discipline mean? At first blush, I thought it was just a fancier word for “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.” Come on; be disciplined! Do it!

But I wonder. The word “discipline” and “disciple” are so similar. They both have their root in being taught. I think that is the thing that I need to keep in strong focus. It’s not about what I’m learning, but who I’m learning it from. Going to bed earlier doesn’t do a thing to make me righteous. The act is in no way morally superior.

But to go to bed earlier, I have to trust that the things that weigh on me are smaller than God, and that God is more well pleased by my rest than by my anxiety. It’s not the act that matters. What matters is that it is an act of faith.

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