disciplineI tossed the turned all Sunday night. Actually, it was Monday’s wee hours.

It had been a beautiful day Sunday.  In spite of illness, anxiety and a potent helping of the blues, I prayed to God as I went about my day, asking Him to help me fight the good fight, keep a smile on my face and think about others.  I was “getting back to the basics” after a difficult week.

The whole day was peaceful.  I found enjoyment in the most mundane activities.  I didn’t get any work done on writing projects, but somehow it didn’t concern me.

That night I lay down and read for a bit, then started to drift off to sleep.  As I descended into slumber, I felt God tugging gently on my sleeve.  He seemed to be saying, “Isn’t it time you let go of your resentment?”

It was true; I was resentful.  I had regressed substantially in some important areas of my life. Circumstances beyond my control had supplanted my goals.  I was suddenly dealing with a great deal of discomfort and inconvenience.  The whole month had blown up in my face.

However, it was the best kind of crisis.  The pain I was feeling and the momentary setbacks were awakening me to the fact that I had gotten off course.  In a big way, my plans and goals had eclipsed the central focus of pursuing Christ and His aims.  God was shaking things up, and all I had been able to see was that some of my favorite things had been taken away from me.  I was sore!

But as God gently approached me (quite cleverly, after I had begun to drift off to sleep), I knew He was right.

When I find myself in a crisis, I often hold on to anger because it is an energy source.  But in this case, my anger was preventing me from seeing reality; it was an obstacle to humility and change.  God had spoken at just the right time, and I said sleepily, “Okay, Lord; you’re right.  I’m sorry for being hard-headed and prideful.  Help me get back on track again.  I’m going to do things your way.”

Once I had submitted to Him, God began restoring peace and joy to me.  I felt a comfort quite like being tucked into bed at the end of the day.  My little rogue mission was over.  I was like a ten-year-old boy who had come home after getting distracted and blowing his curfew.  Now I was grounded for a couple of days and, after sulking for a while, I was finally letting my Dad get a smile out of me. 

Somehow, as I slept that night, God’s message was resonating in my heart.  My mind, too, was spinning.  I awoke in the middle of the night with a full-scale commentary in my head.  The brief conversation I’d had with my Creator a few hours before had turned into a detailed lesson on obedience.

About Douglas Abbott

I am a freelance writer by trade, philosopher and comedian by accident of birth. I am an assiduous observer of humanity and endlessly fascinated with people, the common elements that make us human, what motivates people and the fingerprint of God in all of us. I enjoy exploring the universe in my search for meaning, beauty and friendship. My writing is an extension of all these things and something I did for fun long before I ever got paid. My hope is that the reader will find in this portfolio a pleasing and inspiring literary hodgepodge. Good reading!
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1 Response to Discipline

  1. Sarah Willems says:

    Doug! So wonderful to see you back on here! Your description of acknowledgement + repentance is so well said — we’ve all been there, multiple times, even if our’s don’t feel quite like your’s. God, so much better than even a loving earthly father, always welcomes us back. “Ajustment in the journey” has become a key principle in my Christian walk. It’s a constant resetting of the race.
    Looking forward to hearing more from you.

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