Thursday, March 21, 2013

30 Days With Wesley: Catching Up

Late last week I knew, with my schedule the way it was going to be, that I wouldn't have opportunity for blog for several days, at least, for 30 Days With Wesley.  But I also knew I was committed to working through the 30 days and being consistent with them.  So, some days I found myself doing the morning prayer exercises in the late afternoon, other days doing the evening prayer exercises from the previous day in the morning, "doubling up" once in a while, if you will.  There was one day, around day 19 or 20 I think, that I missed entirely - no, I didn't forget; nor did I decide it wasn't important.  Rather, I had my priorities rightly aligned but had to adjust and adapt to a constantly shifting schedule, and knew I would be better off playing "catch up" the next day than attempting to double up a day at 12:30 in the morning.  And by this morning, Day 22, I am back on schedule.

This would not have worked earlier in my life.  I had a tendency to be an all-or-nothing sort of individual.  If I "fell off wagon"...I really fell off the wagon.  But when I was on it, my goodness, I had better be in the driver's seat with the pedal to the metal at all times, and please-don't-get-in-my-way, thank you.  This was not healthy.  But it was all I knew.

I am not saying I've got this balance thing down perfect yet, but I am saying that, rather than being deflated because I missed a day of what is for me an important spiritual 'project,' I simply recognized the need to adjust and adapt to shifting contexts, and get caught up and back on schedule as soon as possible, without "sweating it."  I think this is what is called "steadiness."  Which might be related to "steadfastness."  In the Scriptures this seems to relate to being steady, constant, consistent in devotion to the Lord.  When David is broken over his sins (David, too, when he "fell off the wagon," really fell off the wagon!), he says:

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me" (Psalm 51:10-12).

From the first verse above we see that steadfastness has much to do with holiness.  From the second, we see that it is only possible if Holy Spirit is living in us as through us.  And from the third, we see that a sustainable life as a Jesus-disciple comes through having a willing spirit.

Is your spirit willing to follow Jesus?  Maybe even become a disciple of Jesus?  In Matthew's gospel he records a story where a man with leprosy comes to Jesus and says "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean."  Jesus replies by saying, "I am willing.  Be clean!"  And the man was cleansed, restored, renewed, transformed:  In short, healed.

Jesus is willing that your heart, mind, and soul be cleansed.  Are you looking for a "fresh start?"  You don't have to wait for everything to be "just the right time" or in "just the right place" or "with all the details organized."  Jesus is just as uninterested in pedal-to-the-metal as He is in falling off the wagon.  He wants to create a steadiness, a steadfastness, a standing-firm-in-faith within us.  Whether we are right on schedule, or catching up.

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