I ran 11 miles the other day. It wasn't really fun, but I had to do it if I'm going to run the half marathon I registered for. And I was thinking that training for a run is a fitting activity for lent. It is sacrifice. It is discipline.
Then I was thinking about how discipline in one area of our life flows over into other areas--like how if I can make myself run 11 miles even if it doesn't feel the greatest, it's easier to have the discipline to pray when I don't feel like it, and vice versa.
I was listening the day before that run to a talk given by Fr. Larry Richards to the men of our diocese about a month ago. This was what stood out to me (actually, it smacked me in the middle of the forehead):
Which of us, if our children were being attacked, or if physical harm threatened to come to our spouse wouldn't step in to intervene, even lay down our life for our loved ones if necessary? Yet every day we leave our loved ones wide open to the enemy without protection. The enemy sneaks and prowls to destroy our families, and we are lazy, sitting on our butts, and too foolish or selfish to spend time in prayer to cover them. We say "I'm too tired", "I'll do it later", "I'll watch this tv show first", "Tonight's too busy, I'll do it tomorrow", "(you insert your excuse here)".
It's amazing what that visual image does to my motivation to pray more.
Lord, help me to be disciplined.