Wednesday, August 31, 2011

When love slams into the soul...

I've been thinking a lot about that whole "love creates discipline" thing these past few days. Trying to figure out just what it means, what it looks like in action and what my response is to it all.
I ended up looking for that Matt Chandler sermon where he talks about love creating discipline. Guess what? He says it in more than one sermon and at one point, he did this whole "love creates..." sermon, where he looks at all the things that are meant to happen when "love slams into our soul."

So I sat down with a pen and paper and wrote out "love creates discipline" at the top. Underneath that, I started to break down these three words.
  • love of what creates discipline?
  • love for what creates discipline?
  • what kind of love is needed?
  • creates discipline to do what?
I thought that there must be a "key" to this phrase. Not a magic word to make it work, or anything, but the proper way to understand this phrase. What is most important? Is it the way I view and/or understand love and discipline?

I pulled out my copy of "The Four Loves" by C. S. Lewis. If you haven't read it, I really recommend it. I think I first read it somewhere around 7th grade. I forget, but I've read it many times since. Just in case this is a case of truly understanding love, I thought I would do some research.

If you are wondering, I'm not really sure what I'm doing. I haven't purposed this blog to be a Bible study, or even necessarily to be a journey through my Christian life. This was originally meant to be my travel blog. And, indeed, it was. But like I've said before, I write from where I am in life, and right now, this is where I am.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Love Creates Discipline

A friend of mine Tweeted me the other day, asking if I was going to blog about my adventures. I kinda brushed it off in my head (the Tweet--NOT the friend!) and thought, "Gee, I am not doing anything worthy of the name "adventure" and I certainly don't want to bog down the blogsophere with my depressing lack of news in the job department.

She was actually referring to somethings going on in my life that I am keeping under my hat for now (sorry, kids!), so her question was totally legit. But she also reminded me about this blog. How I haven't really been using it like I should. How writing seems to make space in my brain for other things. How much I really love words.

Matt Chandler says that love creates discipline. That is something I struggle with in all areas of my life. When I first heard him say it I decided that it made sense. Love for his wife compels him to pick up his towel, not because he has an overwhelming desire to deal with damp bath towels. (Seriously man, this is his illustration used in a sermon. Forget which one, but I'm sure you could Tweet him and find out.)

But I guess I didn't really understand. It's not limited to house work (obviously), thought I tried to start there. I thought if I "loved" my house, I would take better care of it. The dishes that sat in my sink all week, unwashed, didn't agree. Maybe personal appearance? Maybe if I could love myself more, take care of it better, I would work out a better schedule for myself. Last nights bedtime of 1.30am begs to differ. I didn't even make it to "love of God" in this scenario; that is how much I didn't understand. Love and relationships are hard work. I should have reasoned that discipline would take the same amount of work. But I didn't. Instead I saw my life just happen around me. No discipline. And when that started to go, I think some of the love went too.

I think the love & discipline are two sides of the same coin. They cannot be independent from each other, because then you get love of something that doesn't have anything to do with discipline you have created. And really what you are left with is self-motivated discipline to selfish love.

I'm learning that that is no way to live the life Christ died to give us, the life that God had planned for us from before the beginning of the world (Eph. 1). I've decided I WANT to live the life He planned for me. And for me, right now, starting that life looks like starting over. Learning how to pray again. Learning how to read the Bible and breaking down passages so I'm not just reading the words but understanding what is going on.

Easy? Not so much. It's a re-learning. It requires me to ignore stuff I thought I knew and look at things through a new lens.

Putting my English major skills to good use? Yes.
After all, they were part of the plan He has for me...