What Is Discipline in the Spiritual Life?New Every Morning | January 10, 2023
In the spiritual life, the word discipline means “the effort to create some space in which God can act.” Discipline means to prevent everything in our life from being filled up. Discipline means that somewhere we’re not occupied, and certainly not preoccupied. In the spiritual life, discipline means to create that space in which something can happen that we hadn’t planned or counted on. Discipline helps us to follow the voice of the Spirit, who wants to lead us to new places, new people, and new forms of service.
—Henri J.M. Nouwen with John S. Mogabgab, Editor, A Spirituality of Living (The Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust, published in partnership with Upper Room Books, 2011)
How much space do you create in your daily life to spend time with God? Join the conversation.
Jesus said to everyone, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me.”
—Luke 9:23 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
Dear God, We look to your Son Jesus as our example of a balanced life—solitude, community, and ministry. Help us to know our belovedness in you and to spread the message of your love. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
What does it mean to be contemplative? This Lent, Roger Owens invites us to approach prayer and life differently. Join us for a free webinar on January 30, 2023, as we explore 7 Prayer Practices for Lent with Roger Owens and prepare ourselves for a contemplative approach to the Lenten season. Learn more.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
Not enough. I need to do this more and as stated be intentional about it.
Thank you, Jill, for the podcast recommendations. I have downloaded them and will try to begin each today. I am thankful that you don’t need to strike, that all of your requests were acted upon and that your healthcare can continue unimpeded.
Tomorrow is Bible Study and Thursday is the caregiver’s support group that is hosted by a wonderful organization dedicated to helping caregivers. I have been asked to volunteer and would like to pursue the opportunity but will need to monitor h’s behavior. He has been increasingly plagued by halucinations. They seem focused on two themes. He thinks we have another house and he thinks people are building columns in our house. He ambulates well and I am thankful for that.
Some really thought provoking words into today’s writing, regarding occupying and leaving unoccupied. I think there would be great value in taking these words to the Holy Spirit and meditating there…surrendering and pleading for wisdom. Being preoccupied vs. being intentionally un-occupied and leaving space for the Lord to work/create.
Spoke with Becky this morning and dad’s knee continues to improve. Looking forward to my time with them down there in warmer weather and sunshine.
Getting things in order at school…posting assignments (which had to be pulled down in case we went on strike) for the next week or so, and getting things ready for my substitute on Thursday. And, tying up loose ends in the treasurer’s office.
My kittens continue to be a great joy. They are into a lot of things, and most of the time I just chuckle and say “of course they are”. My god daughter will be staying with them while I am away. She met them Sunday and loves how cute they are.
I try to make time in the morning for quiet time with God. It has been more of a challenge last few weeks to make this sacred space. My sister Amy visited for a few days and having her here was wonderful. She left Sunday morning and as always when she leaves, I was sad all day. Worship with my church family, lunch with my pastor and his wife, and a good conversation with a dear friend made the day better. David is progressing in therapy. He was slated for discharge on 1/17, but his team met this morning and determined that an extension from Tuesday to Friday next week would provide more opportunities to progress. That will give him 2 more days of intensive therapy. A good thing. Lewis finished his antibiotic, but still has the sniffles and is going back to vet tomorrow. Vet wants to do a recheck and change his antibiotic. I’m trying to stay busy to stave off the blues. I thank God for my friends here at NEM.
Robert, prayers continue for your church as it moves forward in ministry. Prayers for your family as well. Julie, prayers for you in your role as caregiver for h. I’m thankful you get Sundays for yourself. Jill, praise God you and your colleagues have a contract. Praying for all teachers and students and their safety at school.
I pray we all can find our sacred space in which we grow closer to the Lord.
May God grant us discipline in our spiritual life!
Much later than usual, grand news from many of you! What a great surprise to hear from Mary. Yes, Mary, yes! No strike, demands met, safety, a contract, health insurance, arrangements for your trip all made, Jill! A wonderful visit by your sister Ally, good progress for David, hope Lewis gets the right meds.
A pleasant day in NH,, book study. room painting done, bills paid, budget set, shopping list ready, wonderful PBS shows, a paperwork signing set up for church forms, message prep started, and good meals. Thank You.Lord!