I have a spiritual advisor, a woman that I speak with daily. She gives me a question to write and the following day I read her my answer.
Today’s question was about the role that discipline or the lack of it has played in my life. I won’t bore you with the details except to say that both were considerable in length and the disciplined areas of my life far outweigh the undisciplined.
Where I am undisciplined is related to an area not readily seen by the outsider looking in. Let’s just say that upon occasion my emotions overrule my head. But, because of the mix, my life has been a colorful, lively journey. I wouldn’t trade it. When I was very young I made a decision that I didn’t want to end my life looking back with regret at adventures I didn’t have. I won’t be. I really don’t have many regrets. The ones I do are where I’ve hurt others.
I have to say it’s been a lot like going to my brothers. He lives out in the country and I when I find myself driving to visit him, it’s usually on a pleasant, sunny afternoon. I frequently get lost.
He’s told me that he’s come to expect the phone call (Thank God for cell phones), as I tell him where the landmarks are and where I got off course and he give me directions back on, that sometimes will mean another call or two before I get there. He knows not to hold dinner for me, but he leaves the porch line on because he knows that eventually I will arrive.
Those veers off the path don’t change his feelings for me. They are my opportunity to explore the countryside and get a feel for it. I sometimes meet and talk to people along the way. I lean toward the back, country roads and usually stop at produce stands, cafés and garage sales. It’s an enjoyable day for me and he and I have a chuckle about it as we sit and talk before bedtime.
It’s a lot like that for me with God. I’m heading in his direction, but he knows I probably won’t arrive in time for dinner, or while I’m still in human form, but if I keep heading that way, making calls, asking for help, eventually I’ll get there. If I wasn’t heading in that direction, I’d never get there.
As I write this I think of the Footprints in the Sand verse we’re all familiar with. I don’t need God to carry me all day every day instead of walking along side him, although there were times in the past I did. And he wants me to walk directly toward him, but sometimes I still take those detours. I usually get back on track, before I stray too far and get totally lost. But, I really never need to let go of the hand that’s always available. That will always be there to keep me on the path. He doesn’t want me to miss dinner but knows that it’s up to me to decide if I want to reach for his hand.
He’s keeping the porch light on.