Monday, November 18, 2013

Discipline and Its Pursuit

“For the Lord GOD helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced;
Therefore, I have set My face like flint…”

Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. “I write only when inspiration strikes,” he replied. “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.” That’s a pro.---The War of Art, Steven Pressfield

Diligence demands that she is the focus of our primary energies. Other suitors will call out to us; the barbeque, the television or the night out with friends all seem such simple activities. Friends whisper, “It’s only a night. You can go back to her tomorrow.” Tomorrow is full of different demands and frailty causes us to skip out on Diligence one more day. Then we find a month has gone by and the relationship has suffered. Diligence hasn’t brought forth what was promised---but the promise was broken and half-hearted from the outset.

The disciplined individual will be misunderstood. The man that sets aside an hour a day to seek God’s face is a man that culture can’t comprehend. A commitment to writing the blog or the novel, to hiking for health or training for Everest necessitates a focus alien to the culture. The man who spends sports season rooting from the armchair and the teen keen on X-Box fails to grasp both the pleasure and pain involved in such pursuit.

Diligence demands forethought. We must be willing to skip the night out or the once in a lifetime show at the Bowl. The pursuit of the art or physical excellence; the listening for the voice of God will entail some personal pain. The pain is part of the process if there is to be fulfillment as the end result. The reward will come later.

We must set our face toward the object of our desire. Jesus set his face like flint toward Jerusalem and the resultant fire spread outward and changed the world. We must strike steel against the flint of our art that it too may ignite many.

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