Come now, let us argue it out, says the Lord. Isaiah 1:18
Discipline follows from being a disciple. It is our effort to do as our Master does. Jesus gave space for the Father to give him what he needed. When you and I are fearful and anxious, we want to take control of our lives. We want to do things our own way, whether it’s like the younger son or like the older son. When we follow Jesus we practice a discipline that gives space to let the Father touch us, forgive us, and receive us. Like Jesus, we need to be available: we must be “home.” We must have an address if we want to be addressed. We must be home in order to receive a guest, or to receive God. So disciplines are ways of creating space, a home within, where God can come into our lives to forgive, to heal, and to bring important gifts.
The first discipline is listening. The word listening in Latin is audire. If we listen with great attention the words are ob audire. That is the word for “obedience.” The word obedience means listening. If we are not listening, we are deaf. The Latin word for deaf is surdus, and if we’re actually deaf, we’re ab surdus. The “absurd” life is a life in which we’re not listening. An obedient life is a life in which we are listening.
Jesus, Loving Friend, give me inner space to listen to you showing me how to love those around me.