Day 15: Discipline

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A few days ago, I read a tweet by Joyce Meyer: “If you are constantly rushing to get things done, you are doing too many things”.  I have been chewing on that for days now.  You see, I have a huge problem with time management.  I have way too much to do in too little time!  I have a family, a job, a church and studies.  Between those four things, I don’t have any time left.  As a matter of fact, I don’t even have enough time!  There has been times when I thanked God quietly for breathing that takes place without me having to pay attention to it.  If breathing wasn’t something that happens automatically, I won’t have forgotten about that with my daily running around.

This morning I tried to figure out which of the things I was occupied with, I could ditch.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zero.  Zilch.  The stuff on my plate now, is going to be there for a considerable time ahead.  I have to cope with it.  So now what?  Let me tell you this: I HAVE to do things differently this year.  I don’t have a choice.  I HAVE to make some changes.  Last year my studies suffered so badly that I was taking pills to help me concentrate and study, and other pills to help me relax and sleep.  I am not going down that road again.  It was a brutal assault on my body.

As always God is faithful.  His answer to my question this morning was just one word: Discipline.

I didn’t understand it at first.  I had to think about it for a while.  I think God eventually felt sorry for me with my slow Monday morning brain.  So He added some more: “You have to be disciplined.  Plan ahead, stick to the plan and you will succeed”.

I planned my studies out before in previous years, and even though I didn’t stick to the plan religiously, it was still far better than having no plan.  At least I didn’t fail subjects then!  I failed a subject last year.  I don’t want to go there again either.

So this morning, I planned out my entire semester.  Chapter for chapter, topic for topic, assignment for assignment.  Five subjects in all.  I have a plan.  And by the grace of God I will have the discipline to stick to my plan.  By the way, now that I have it all on paper in front of me, the monster has reduced substantially in size.  I don’t feel so overwhelmed anymore.

Why do I blog about this?  Well, I believe there are many people with the same problem.  We are in this horrible rat-race and it causes unnecessary stress.  Stress that in turn hurt our relationships with our loved ones.  Stress that makes us too tired to pray.  Stress that causes us to work on a Sunday when we should be resting.  Stress that keeps us out of church.

Planning and discipline go hand-in-hand with self-control, a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), so here is my challenge to you today.  Sit and think of your own life for a while.  Where can some planning and discipline reduce your stress load?

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3 responses »

  1. Hilda, we are on similar journeys at the moment. I have decided to make 2013 my year of rest & relaxation as God showed me last year that my TO DO list is driving me crazy and preventing me from spending time with Him.
    I struggle with the same thing as you – the things I am busy with are all valid, productive, good things – so where do I cut on my activities? Not to mention the million things I still wanted to do (someday)!
    I am a master at planning and discipline and have planned out so many things in the past – which have made me very productive but also very very busy, frustrated and stressed. (typical rat race)

    Towards the end of 2012 I deleted all the entries on my TO DO list and decided that God will show me what I needed to do next. The answer I got was that, in everything – every little decision I now make (“how will I spend my Saturday afternoon/evening?” – “what should I be keeping busy with this Monday evening” – even “what activities at work should I prioritise”) – I consult Him first.
    And when I don’t hear anything from Him on a particular subject, I do NOTHING. Rest. Wait.
    The discipline I needed was the discipline to place Him first in my life. Amazing how everything else falls into place once you’ve done that.

    The result – I can now hear His voice again (working on it every day). God is taking me back to basics and showing me His priorities for me. I am also allowing myself a lot more time for resting, which I previously had not done.
    I also realised two important things: Many of those tasks on my list which felt so important to me, were actually of a selfish nature (things that would build me up in the direction I thought I had to go) and secondly that I put a lot of pressure on my household as well to keep up with me and my “lists”!

    I expect this to be a daily struggle for me in 2013.

    • Thanks for your comment Liandi. I can completely relate to your journey! Welcome in my world and welcome on my blog! Hope to see many more comments from you.

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