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Grounded in Discipline

In the midst of my sojourn in Florida (i.e. General Conference) and my re-immersion in the Central Texas Conference, I have kept up my reading.  One of the recent books I’ve read is Gabe Lyons’ The Next Christians: How a New Generation Is Restoring the Faith.  He is the co-author of the book UnChristian, which many read a few years ago when we had his co-author David Kinnaman in the Central Texas Conference. While uneven, elements linger in my thoughts, particularly the 8th chapter entitled “Grounded, Not Distracted.” Lyons lays out five key spiritual disciplines for not just our reflection but for committed, habitual practice: “1. Immersed in Scripture (Instead of Entertained) 2. Observing the Sabbath (Instead of Being Productive) 3. Fasting for Simplicity (Instead of Consuming) 4. Choosing Embodiment (Instead of Being Divided) 5. Postured by Prayer (Instead of Power)” (The Next Christians: How a New Generation Is Restoring the Faith, Chapter 8 “Grounded, Not Distracted,” Gabe Lyons, pp. 127-146) The list echoes the early sentiment, practice, and posture of those people called Methodist.  You remember, the ones who were so “methodical” about pursuing spiritual disciplines.  There was a day the “discipline” didn’t mean a book but a lifestyle that was grounded and not distracted. I continue to pray regularly the prayer of Aelred of Rievaulx (1147-1167 A.D.), which was paraphrased in Godspell – “To know Him [Christ] more clearly; to love Him [Christ] more dearly; to follow Him [Christ] more nearly” (original language).  I don’t know about you, but for me, I need to be grounded in discipline … not the book, the spiritual disciples of the life of faith.