You ever get that gut wrenching feeling of guilt right after you read about something you know you really ought to be doing. That feeling in the stomach that isn’t indigestion but something far worse, a spiritual type of indigestion? Yeah. I’ve gotten that recently.
This is Spiritual Musclehead. And I firmly believe that if you want to write about something to be practiced, you need to practice what you write about. And that’s where this confession comes in–I’ve been lagging behind. True. Honest. Really. I’m lagging behind in my own personal training. And it’s gut wrenching spiritual indigestion when I realize it too. I realized recently that I really need to be better at my spiritual training. I’m lagging behind and that ain’t good at all for me. It’s pretty bad.
Now, some of you might be saying “Don’t beat yourself up so much.” Or “Don’t be so hard on yourself.” Thank you for saying that. But I’m not. I’m being honest with myself. Maybe a bit too honest with myself (But hey, I need to be honest with someone, right? Might as well be myself). There’s a reason behind why I’m hard on myself about spiritual training. It’s because I’m a leader. And because of that, I hold myself up to a different standard in my walk with the Lord (that is, following Jesus, being a Christian, however you want to say it in Christianese).
But why? Why so hard on myself? No. Why so honest with myself.
Paul says it best in 1 Corinthians
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:25-27
In other words, if he don’t practice what he preaches then what he preaches ain’t worth nothing. He goes into training because he knows the cost of what he does. He goes into training because he knows that he will be watched and judged.
Later he tells his pupil, Timothy, these words of advice
“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly…godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8
Okay, hold on here.
This is what’s so important and where I’m lagging behind–I’m not training enough. I’ve been struggling with doing my devotions. I can’t even sit still long enough to sit in silence and reflect on God’s word.I have a hard time truly sitting down for prayer. I’m lagging behind and it’s showing. It’s like a big glob of grape soda dropped on an interstate highway map that you need to get home with (odd analogy, but work with me here). Direction gets smeared and hard to read, you can’t fold it like you’re supposed to anymore, and it’s just annoying and smells like grape the rest of the trip home. That’s what it’s like when you lag behind in spiritual training.
What’s even more of a guilty feeling is that I’m doing research on the Spiritual Disciplines and how one forms in the Christian faith. And in doing so, I’m feeling guilty for not doing what I’m supposed to be doing which is what and why I’m researching it in the first place.
So prayers please.
Prayers to get back on track. Prayers to get back to doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Prayers to be a solid spiritual leader that I’m supposed to be. And prayers for me as I study this more. And if you want, prayers that I’m not as hard on myself (Maybe I am…just a little bit).
I’m lagging behind in my training, please join me in not lagging along so much.