Hi, my name is Jay. I am undisciplined.
I hate to admit it, but I struggle with consistency in my devotional life. It’s not that I don’t want to be engaged in seeking after God. No, my problem is that I often get bored in maintaining a consistent practice. I will settle on one approach, such as using a book like Common Prayer and it goes well for a while, but then I find myself drawn to something else. While I’ve never been diagnosed as such, given my kid’s history and my self knowledge I now that ADD lives in my blood, and when it comes to my devotional life it rears it’s ugly head.
There is a certain part of me that wants to beat myself up for the undisciplined nature of my seeking, for the tradition I live and serve in is rooted in a disciplined lifestyle. Frankly, I probably wouldn’t have made it in the Methodist societies of Wesley and Asbury. They would have cast me out as unworthy of the calling (although, in my defense, I’ve been much more consistent when participating in groups of mutual accountability with systems of love and support). And yet, I don’t give up for I want to seek after God. My approaches may change, but the desire doesn’t. And for right now, given the season of my life where I am pulled by the competing needs of congregation and family, the specifics may not be as important as the desire.
I write this for I am making another shift in my devotional practices this year. I began this blog as an attempt to reflect on the book Common Prayer, which I still go to regularly. However I’ve been convicted that I am not addressing the biblical text directly for learning and growth. It just so happens that I have a paperback copy of the new Common English Bible New Testament on my desk and I think it’s time to work my way systematically through the New Testament to see again what God can offer. I want to take the stories of Jesus and the reflections of Paul at face value, seeking after what God will reveal to me directly in the text rather than depending on the ruminations and values of others. I’m beginning at the beginning — with Matthew’s gospel, and will work my way through the four gospels and move then into Paul and the other writings. I don’t know where this will go, but we’ll see how long I can sustain this.
Feel free to chime in along the way if you have thoughts.