Running the race

“Every athlete exercises discipline in every way.  They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.  Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing.  No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.”

~1 Corinthians 9: 25-27

This morning in prayer, the word “discipline” came up as we read through our Rule of Life.  That word slapped me upside the head when I heard it..or the other analogy I like to use is that God smacked me in the forehead with a 2×4 piece of lumber..haha.  Basically what I realized during morning prayer is that I have zero discipline – zip, none, nada!  This needs to change.

Haylee lead formation this morning and did an amazing job talking about primary vocation!  Our vocation is to love!  She asked us to journal on the following two questions:

  • What is stopping me from entering into God’s love?
  • What is stopping me from loving others fully?

In reflecting on these questions, morning prayer came to mind and the word “discipline.”  The fact that outside of our structured prayer time here at Covecrest, my prayer life is, needless to say, pathetic.  I don’t know why laziness kicks in so much when it comes to praying.  I love to pray..I love spending time with Jesus in the chapel!  I really like sitting in the chapel and strumming on my guitar while being with the Lord.  There are plenty of times during the day to walk to the chapel and spend a few minutes with Jesus.    God simply told me today: “Spend more time with me, Mark.  I love you.”  I need more discipline in my life.  Like St. Paul, I need to discipline myself as I run this race before me.  I need to train my body so that I can love and serve the Lord fully each day.

With discipline comes many fruits.  I remember in college how during the first couple of years, I wasn’t disciplined and motivated and it showed in my grades.  However during my last two years of college, I became disciplined and motivated and my grades were great!  With discipline comes many fruits.  It’s the same with the spiritual life.  The more disciplined I am, the deeper I can go in my relationship with the Lord.  It’s the same when it comes to exercise.  I love to exercise, and I feel great after a workout.  I need to be more disciplined in my exercise so that, as St. Paul says, I can drive my body and be filled with energy and passion as I proclaim Christ and share my witness with others.  When I don’t exercise for a while and when I don’t center my day around prayer, I become lazier and lazier.  It requires solid discipline when it comes to prayer and exercise.

So I’ve decided, since Lent begins tomorrow, to work on discipline during this Lenten season.  Instead of giving something up, I’m going to make an extra visit to the chapel each day outside of structured prayer time, I’m going to make time for daily exercise, I’m going to be disciplined in how I eat and the amount of sleep I get.  Through proper discipline, I pray that my relationship with the Lord can go deeper and deeper.  If my prayer life is disciplined, the more I can receive from the Lord, and in turn, the more I can give to others.

Love you all!

God bless!


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