Ever make a commitment to do something consistently every day? It takes a lot of discipline to do something like this. Maybe you just finished Lent and committed to giving up something for 40 days. Often times when we do this we find that what once was a discipline has now become a desire. It’s true what starts off as discipline can often turn into something we want to keep doing. Here are three steps to do this:
1. Commit to a Specific Discipline for a Specific Amount of Time
Take exercising for example. 6 months ago I decided that I was going to exercise every day for a year. The first couple of months were hard – but as I started seeing results and feeling like I was making progress this discipline of exercising became more of a desire and I made sure to get up early enough to stay on track, even when I traveled. So far I have lost 23 pounds and have more energy than I did when I started. I can’t say that everyday it is my desire to exercise, but most of the time it is.
2. Spend Major Time on Major Things
If you are anything like me, most of your day is filled with distractions and reacting to things that are being thrown at you. It can often feel unbalanced and out of control. Make your disciple something that is important to you. Give it the priority time it needs each day to take root.
Take prayer for example. I used to believe that worship eventually led to more contemplation. After spending some time with the Intercessors of the Lamb in Omaha, Nebraska – I found the opposite to be true. Their discipline of daily contemplation led them to authentically worship God out of the reality of being filled up with the love of Christ each day. The discipline of daily contemplation led to the desire to contemplate before the Eucharist and the fruit is worship in a deeper way. Daily Mass was once a discipline that now has become a desire for me.
3. Tell Others About Your New Discipline
When we invite other people to hold us accountable it helps us stay on track. The more people you tell the more incentive you will have to stay on track.
For instance, what if you set a relational ministry discipline and shared it with your pastor or the Core team. What if we commit to every day contacting teens and spending time with them – what starts out as a discipline, may become a burning desire. Just this initial discipline of committing to spending time daily with young people, could transform our ministry. You never know, another Core member just might match you on this discipline.
So what is a discipline you are being called to do in your ministry, prayer, home, health, family or life? Make the commitment to daily embrace this discipline – it just might end up becoming a desire.