Choosing Discipline

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the smartest thing to do – cycle almost 5 miles in the heat of the day, especially after suffering with side pain, heartburn, and indigestion for over a week. But, at some point I decided that I had to do something for myself, for my health, for my mental well being, and I was tired of giving in to excuses.

I admit my timing could have been better, and it was by the grace of Jesus that I made it all the way back home without A. Passing out, B. Vomiting, C. Cramping up from pain, or D. Passing out while vomiting from cramping up with pain. Literally, in my head because I was afraid if I opened my mouth B. would happen, I begged, “Jesus, get me home. Just get me home.”

I practically tumbled off the bike, groped for the door, clutched my aching body and collapsed in my chair. I needed water, but I was afraid if I moved I would black out and land on our precious dog… For which, I would never forgive myself!

After a few deep breaths and some intense prayers of thankfulness, I thought, “I can’t possibly do that again.”
Then I heard a voice I immediately dismissed, “But you have to.”
Ugh.
So I bartered, “Well, I need to work my way up to that… I didn’t get sick until about the 3rd mile, I’ll just shave down the time.
“Until it’s no time?” Challenged the voice.
Sighh.
The Voice knew me well, and the more it spoke, the better I knew IT. “It’s discipline, Les.”
Oh and now there was no doubt. “Daddy, I think I bit off more than I could feasibly chew. Besides, I’m not sure how well the bike will hold up. It’s only gonna get hotter.”
Excuses.
His response, “I know.”
I stammered back in my heart, “But… But…”
Silence.
What could I say? Another excuse, another one million and ten reasons why I made a commitment and wasn’t going to see it through. I dropped my head in defeat. “I’m gonna fail.”
Then, I felt Him smile. I imagined Him pulling me close and letting me rest my tears on His big, broad shoulders, “It’s not about whether you succeed or fail… It’s that you try again.”
I pouted, “But what if I don’t?”
And the answer came back so tenderly, “Then you let yourself down.”
My lips trembled and my hands went to cover my face in shame.
“Did you hear me, daughter?”
I nodded, “I’ll let you down.”
I swear I heard Him laugh. “Me!? I said you! You will let yourself down! You set this goal for yourself! I want to see you press on and accomplish it because I don’t want you to blame yourself a million days later for failing!”
I stopped, “But you said this was about discipline?”
He pulled me tighter, “It is. Don’t you think, if I wanted to, I could set a passion so deep in your heart for this that to miss even one day would be heartbreaking and unthinkable?”
I really hadn’t thought of that, but nothing with Him was impossible. “Could you?”
Again, I felt Him laugh, “I can. But what satisfaction and accomplishment would you feel?” (Oh this Guy and His riddles.) 🙂 “It boils down to choices, Love. You choose for yourself life or death, blessings or curses.”

And, I got it.

I choose what I do next, and as I challenge myself to move beyond my fears of what is comfortable or what seems possible, my faith grows and my confidence grows and as they grow so does the power He has placed in me! It might seem like no big deal, cycling almost 5 miles, but compared to yesterday my heart is a little stronger, my muscles a little tighter, and my spirit a little lighter. And that is one day… And as for my excuses… They may surface again… And a few days I may succumb, but I will choose to try again. After all, I don’t want to let myself down, and my Daddy has already called my number.

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