Random Reflections

Run, Melissa, Run

Tonight I tasted accomplishment.  It tastes goooood.  As a self-professed list person who writes things on my to-do list that I’ve already done just so I can have the satisfaction of crossing them off, I am not ashamed of my unabashed affection for accomplishment. I like goal-setting and I love goal-reaching.

Tonight I ran a mile and a half – without stopping – at a moderate pace.  That may be no big whoop to some of you out there who run five without breaking a sweat but as a non-runner this is a big accomplishment for me.  I’ve been running more lately trying to work up to running longer distances.  So tonight I am pleased because I am seeing growth from my discipline.  I really don’t plan on being an avid runner.  I think it is too much wear and tear on the body especially the knees.  But I’d like to build up some endurance and speed for my other sporting adventures.

Had my third eye appointment today and things are looking good (no pun intended) for the Lasik surgery this fall.  Laptop, Lasik, Laptop, Lasik . . . .hmmmm, what to do.  Preston – can you come up with an even better money-making scheme for me to try on the side?   

Speaking of seeing growth through discipline, I was reading an interesting chapter from Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry for our pastoral retreat this week.  The chapter talked a great deal about the need for repetition in our spiritual formation as disciples of Christ.  The author Willliam Willimon states "[R]ather than construe the Christian faith as a set of interesting ideas to be affirmed, I think it is wise to present this faith as a set of practices to be inculcated, a set of habits to be assumed." (213) I didn’t quite agree with Willimon on everything he wrote in this chapter.  He leans towards doing the disciplines which leads to understanding rather than the reverse.  I’d like to take a stance a little more middle-of-the-road.  I fear we have a little too much "don’t think, just do" churches out there.  But he does make some great reminders of the need for repetition of spiritual disciplines in our life.  I’m sure he has the expectation that these disciplines would be done with the intent of spiritual formation and pure motive; however, it is too often the case that spiritual disciplines such as prayer; Bible study; Scripture memorization; tithing; etc. are simply goals to be checked off our spiritual to-do list so we can receive a gold star on our chart.  A simple task to complete; not a spirit-transforming habit.

I do want to share one quote from the chapter that I think is a great reminder to all of us who are disciples of Christ:

Disciples are those who have been formed by the good news of Jesus Christ into
certain sorts of people who live in the world in certain sorts of ways that are often
counter to the world’s ways.

The pastoral staff head off for Windermere Tuesday and Wednesday for our retreat which I am thoroughly excited about and very much looking forward to.  Windermere holds many special memories for me – many of those memories involve beautiful, quiet moments with God.  I’m looking forward to some quiet walks around the grounds and an early morning fog rising off the lake on Wednesday morning.

Peace – Melissa

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