I came across an article about an Olympic athlete who resolved to restrain from carbs(Carbohydrates) and phone calls. I thought to myself, well that must be really difficult, to say the least. Restraining from phone calls and delicious food? Come on! that must be close to impossible, I said to myself; especially in today’s context and culture where kids, teenagers and even adults tend to get into depression and anxiety when their phone becomes unusable/switched off for just a few hours. Even as I was pondering over this, a thought then stuck me. Does the athlete really look at it the way I perceive it? Definitely not!
For him, these restrictions aren’t restrictions; because his goal is far superior than them- The opportunity to strike gold at the greatest international sporting event in the world! This is what drives him and pushes him to pursue with single-minded determination.In other words,for him these restrictions are essential traits,whose benefits far out-weights the pain, if any!
I kept pondering over this and began realizing that this couldn’t get more analogues than this and began drawing parallels to life!
As a child, I grew up in a very loving and yet a disciplined home. Was there love and freedom? Yes absolutely yes! But does that imply there were no restrictions ?
Freedom without boundaries is chaos- Dr. Ravi Zacharias.
To answer my above question- Discipline was always part of my upbringing, whether I liked it or not! Though I obeyed my parents, to be honest, I disliked them, or to say the least, never enjoyed it-which child would?
This made me wonder as to why we as humans have always disliked restricting boundaries be it political ,moral ,ethical and spiritual ?
Why rebellion and indiscipline are always easier than going by the rule book?
The answer is -‘We don’t realize who we are and what we are destined for’
Restrictions aren’t restrictions when you know who you are and your destiny.
Therefore I do not run without a definite goal; I do not flail around like one beating the air [just shadow boxing]-St. Paul, the Apostle
St. Paul wrote that he doesn’t run aimlessly but with a definite goal (purpose). A goal to live like Christ and to bring about God’s message-‘that God loves mankind and wants to make our hearts His abode’. His determination and passion for God made everything else in his life look like a cake-walk. Even though his lifestyle, and his willingness to die for the cause of God’s message looked challenging and impossible, he never made a big deal out of it and was single-minded in his mission.
One of the primary reasons for his humanly impossible resolute was his love for God and his conviction in what he believed in -that God has called him to reach the unreached with God’s love and message! He knew what he was called for and hence no discipline seemed too heavy for him.
Much like Paul, I believe that God has a unique plan for each of us, the moment we understand it, our lives will longer be a struggle to us, and every restriction that accompanies this vision and purpose will not be burdensome, but a needed discipline that equips us to be better, and takes us closer to the purpose God has for our lives!
Let’s make this quick prayer.
‘Dear Lord, help me understand the purpose you have for my life and give me the grace to understand the bigger picture you have for me.Teach me and discipline in the way that seems pleasing to you’, in Jesus’ name. Amen!
May God open our hearts and minds to understand His plan and purpose even better!.
God bless you!