I looked it up. Just to make sure because you know, "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness."
So for the record here is Don Whitney's definition of spiritual discipline :
They are habits of devotion, habits of experiential Christianity that have been practiced by God's people since biblical times.
Last week when I was sitting at my computer the temperature dropped well below zero just as the winds picked themselves up above twenty miles per hour.
It doesn't take too much of that combination before I start feeling trapped. Panicky. It may or may not have something to do with the five kids in my house that are convinced that if they can't go outside the right thing to do is turn the house into a *very loud* jungle gym.
So I choke the prayers out over my frustration.
Thank you for a home.
Thank you for a heater.
Thank you for fireplace.
And God knows I mean it.
(Because God also knows how much I hate to be cold.)
Truthfully though, my spirit starts to shrink in the small spaces. It's okay for a little bit, but two...three days in? I get small, and not in a good way. Maybe calling it a spiritual discipline is a little bit of stretch. But a only very little bit. Because when I read my Bible I see that we were created to BEHOLD.
Over and over again God asks us to look up and behold His firmament.
Behold and look out on His land.
Behold and look down to the dirt where His treasures are hidden.
Behold and look to the deep where he works things we can't imagine.
As much as I love indoor plumbing, nowhere does he direct our eyes to our convenience and call it majestic. Only when we are outside can we look up and feel small. We can feel small in a good way.
It's a ministry of sky and land. A service of dirt and deep places. The creation was made to carry our voices long and loud and hold our whispers just a little more sacred. I want to drink deeply of it so I can remember that it really is In Christ Alone.
That He is more broad and vast and deep that I can imagine. That he can hold more that I could fathom.
So I pull on my boots. I lace them up near to my knees and grab a camera so we can walk. I breath the frigid air and hug my arms around myself because braving the cold is worth it. I watch the vapor rise as we breath out.
It's a miracle of the Spirit. Manifest presence in the air. And I thank God for getting to go outside in the winter.
And God knows I mean it.