Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Furniture Apologies

I have read a number of books on the topic of developing spiritual disciplines. These include Dallas Willard's The Spirit of the Disciplines and Charles Swindoll's So You Want to be Like Christ?. I will not go into a discussion of the spiritual disciples today. Today I want to remind you of the old adage "practice makes perfect". Think of a pro golfer practicing his putting stroke hundreds upon hundreds of times to develop what is known in the business as "muscle memory". The same approach is entirely appropriate and relevant for the spiritual disciplines. Practice makes perfect. Really the point is that most spiritual disciplines are a pain in the gluteus maximus, that is to say that they are not normally a natural part of who we are. Instead, we must mindfully approach them with nuturing and patience like a timid bunny that might skitter away at any moment into the underbrush. We must realize that anything worth obtaining or anything worth mastering will take time. Remember it is a journey.

All of this discussion so far is well and good. My main point today is, however, to brag. It is about me. One of the disciplines, I have down cold. It is so imbred into my coding that no processing or thought is required. What is my special spiritual gift? Well, I am one of those folks, who if they bump into something, immediately offers an apology or an "excuse me". Apparently, it does not matter if the other party is a pope, a Fuller Brush man (this allusion probably goes over the heads of most folks), or, in my case, a piece of furniture. I have given so many apologies to furniture that I have bumped into, that an objective observer might think that I am a few figs short of a newton. I also noticed today, sadly, that when I sneeze, I immediately say excuse me, even when I am driving alone in my car. This makes me wonder what other disciplines I have mastered ...