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Archive for July 31st, 2021

MEDITATION:

Written by Elton Trueblood (1900-1994), an American Quaker author and theologian and former chaplain to both Harvard and Stanford Universities. This is an excerpt from his book “The New Man for Our Time.”

When we begin to ask what the conditions of inner renewal are, we receive essentially the same answers from nearly all of those whom we have most reason to respect. One major answer is the emphasis upon discipline. In the conduct of one’s own life it is soon obvious, as many have learned the hard way, that empty freedom is a snare and a delusion. In following what comes naturally or easily, life simply ends in confusion, and in consequent disaster. Without the discipline of time, we spoil the next day the night before, and without the discipline of prayer, we are likely to end by having practically no experience of the divine-human encounter. However compassionate we may be with others, we dare not be soft or indulgent with ourselves. Excellence comes at a price, and one of the major prices is that of inner control.

We have not advanced very far in our spiritual lives if we have not encountered the basic paradox of freedom, to the effect that we are most free when we are bound. But not just any way of being bound will suffice; what matters is the character of the binding. The one who would like to be an athlete, but who is unwilling to discipline his (or her) body by regular exercise and by abstinence, is not free to excel on the field or the track…failure to train rigorously and to live abstemiously denies that person the freedom to go over the bar at the desired height, or to run with the desired speed and endurance. With one concerted voice the giants of the devotional life apply the same principle to the whole of life with the dictum, “Discipline is the Price of Freedom.”

PRAYER:

Written by Izwe Nkosi, a contemporary South African author, passionate about worship and prayer.

Jesus, I invite you into my tiredness. Teach me to walk at Your pace. I yield to your pace. Help me to step out of my anxious hurry and into Your gentle yoke. I hear Your invitation to, “Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it.” Lord, help me to learn Your “unforced rhythms of grace.” (MT 11:29 MSG).

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