Catalyst: Discipline Bridge

17 04 2008

IMAGE: Discipline Bridge. Leaders don’t build character without crossing the bridge of discipline. Personal discipline is like a bridge from where you are to where you want to be. It crosses the gap between desire and fulfillment. We don’t build the bridge quickly, but once it is built, discipline makes it easy to cross to places you could never go before. Discipline seems hard at first but eventually you’ll see it is a bridge not a burden.

VERSE: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

LEARNING: “If you would like a better grade in math, try out for the tennis team.” Those obscure words from my 9th Grade Algebra Teacher changed my life. Apparently, Clawson High School wasn’t a tennis powerhouse and they were willing to bribe kids to get players. I had an A in the class and didn’t need the extra credit, but my friend need all the help he could get, so I said, “You wanna try out?” This had to be as much fun as sitting in the back of the room and letting him copy off me on the test. One problem…My tennis experience: ZERO.

I showed up to my first practice with a old wooden raquet (that dates me, I know) and no idea how to keep score or even hit the ball. Over the next month, I learned ground stokes, how to serve and tennis strategy. Somehow we made the Varsity Team. We knew we stunk, so we took lessons to improve our game. We ran drills to work on every aspect of our game. Repetition produced results. To improve our serve, we would hit a full shopping cart of balls until it was empty. We hit ground strokes until they became as natural as running. And the discipline payed off. We ended up 4 year LetterMen in Tennis.

If we would have just said “I don’t want to practice, I just want to play a match,” we would have gone nowhere. The same is true in our spiritual lives. In order for me to get from “where I am” spiritually to “where I want to be” as follower of Christ it requires us to cross the bridge of Discipline. What have you learned from the discipline of a sport or activity that you can apply to your spiritual journey with Christ? What discipline do you need to build in into your life right now?

Over the years I won numerous matches, but the best achievement was being voted “most improved player” in 9th Grade. At the end of 2008, we will vote for the “most improved player” on the Catalyst Team.




2 responses

24 04 2008

As I thought about Tim’s question, “What have you learned from the discipline of a sport or activity that you can apply to your spiritual journey with Christ?” it made me think about teaching. I have focused a lot of attention on becoming a better teacher so I can get that desired Michigan teaching job. I have gone to conferences to learn more from other teachers. I have read books on teaching. I have spent time thinking about how to effectively plan and teach a lesson. And because of all these things (and my God given gifts) I think I’m a great teacher.

I can apply that same kind of disciple in my Christian walk. I should be taking time out to learn from other Christians. I should be reading the Bible and other books to help me become more Christ like. I should be thinking about how to effectively teach myself those things I need to learn to become more Christ like.

Teaching has always come naturally to me and I have taught in different ways since I was young. But in the last couple years my teaching has improved due to all the work I’ve put into it. In the same way, I can’t even remember a time when I didn’t consider myself a Christian but I need to continually practice disciplines so I can become more Christ like every day.

Some of the specific spiritual disciples I personally need to work on are taking time out every day for prayer and time with God. My goal is to make it so every moment I am totally living for God alone and not simply letting the moments pass by.

24 04 2008
Tim Kade

So true Amy! This might help with your time with God. At the last Catalyst Breakfast, we decided as a group to personally read through Nehemiah (13 chapters).

Here’s the Schedule for all Leaders:
April 28-May 2: Chapters 1-5
May 5-9: Chapters 6-10
May 12-16: Chapters 11-13

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