Are you a person who plans ahead or acts on impulse? I’ve always been a planner, which is easy to see when looking at my Google calendar and tasks. If I don’t write it down, it probably won’t get done.
I may have been a planner, but I married a man of action. I can’t really say he acted on impulse, because he had purpose, even in his seemingly less-planned life. Yet, for a highly structured soul, he definitely shook my world.
The seconds, minutes, hours, days and years go by either way — whether we’re impulsive or disciplined. The question is how we choose to live each one.
Joshua told the Israelites to make a choice as they settled in the Promised Land: “choose this day whom you will serve.”* They couldn’t live with a foot in both camps, one day serving the God of Creation and the next serving the idols of Egypt. They had to choose how they would live and whom they would honor with their lives.
How will you live? By impulse or determined choice?
Impulse acts on selfish desires. I eat chocolate pie without thinking because it looks so good, only later to regret my action by the feeling in my stomach and the pounds on the scale.
Impulse may even seem like a spiritual act, as Peter jumped into the water to walk to Jesus. I’ve done that before — jump into a ministry or “good deed” only to quickly sink by realizing I was doing it for my own aggrandizement instead of to God’s glory.
Discipline, on the other hand, requires self to take a back seat, while following the Master through life. Chambers says it takes discipline to be “exceptional in ordinary things.” To be holy “in mean streets, among mean people” cannot be learned on impulse but through disciplined choices.*
What impulse needs to die in order for godly discipline to lead the way? It is the flower that blooms among the rocks that shines the brightest. Don’t despise the hard days, the ordinary days. Let God shine through your determination to live daily to His glory.
Grace and Peace
Joshua 24:14 (NIV)
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest. October 21.