I recently came across a web page at Whole Living to basically create a new you in 28 days. I was instantly mesmerized by the promise and signed up for the daily emails.
After these emails began drifting into my mailbox, I realized that this is not a new desire or practice. Religions have offered fasting, meditation and other spiritual disciplines for thousands of years. Honestly, if I practiced my Christian faith more diligently, I would not feel this need. In fact, the primary draw of ‘religion’ is the inner peace that comes with it. Actually, one of the most encouraging aspects of the Christian faith is that we don’t HAVE to do these disciplines. We learn that we are accepted by God because he is loving and forgiving regardless of how disciplined we are, and this belief gives me a lot of peace knowing that pressure isn’t there.
However, if I truly want peace in my life, I believe that comes by my drawing near to God through spiritual disciplines. It is too easy to be drawn into the distractions of every day life. We lose sight of the big picture and lose the meaning of our existence. Steve Jobs has a great talk on living each day as your last. Basically, it forces you to think about what is really important in your life. How often do we spend our days bogged down in details that just don’t matter?
Carl Honore wrote a book, In Praise of Slow, which literally praises slowing down all aspects of your life – from eating, to reading, to sex – everything! I’ve even heard that people who drive the speed limit or less are less stressed!
For me, this is a clear indication that I need God in my life. Unfortunately, I face the same temptations as everyone else, and I get more wired and connected and busy every year. However, for myself and my children, I think the best way we can cope with the pressures of modern society is to become more disciplined in our spiritual lives. The Bible teaches in Galations 5:22 that as we practice these disciplines we will bear spiritual fruit of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I would love for those adjectives to describe me and my family!