Your spiritual disciplines will not usually yell at you, but when you neglect them, there are reminders. Learn to tune your heart and mind to the gentle tug of spiritual disciplines.
He always lets me know when it is time. He doesn’t care if it is freezing cold, raining, or a blazing hot South Carolina August afternoon. When he needs to go to out, Toby always lets me know. Toby is my German Shorthaired Pointer. He is quite possibly the greatest dog in the world (it’s true, trust me). But, when he needs to go outside, his manners go out the window.
Normally, he lets me know with a small whine or a cold nose on my leg. If I try to ignore him and work on my computer, he will lay his head on the keyboard. If that doesn’t work, he will begin to whine louder or bark a little. If I persist in ignoring him, he will do whatever it takes to get my attention: drag a blanket across the floor, find a sock, or grab a throw pillow.
Taking Toby outside doesn’t require much discipline on my part. The dog does all the work of reminding me. He makes sure I don’t forget him.
I sometimes wish that my spiritual disciplines pestered me the way that Toby does. Those wonderful disciplines like Bible reading, journaling, prayer, and solitude are beneficial, powerful, and essential for the Christian life. However, if I ignore my Bible, it doesn’t lay itself in my lap. If I neglect my prayers, they do not jump up and down to get my attention. If I stash my journal in the bedside table, it doesn’t whine until I let it out.