This sermon written and delivered by Tim Basselin.
God chose the summer of 1996 to begin teaching me about spiritual disciplines. After my sophomore year of college, I moved across the country and worked at a national park. One of the two books I took with me was Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, which has a chapter for 12 different disciplines. I had read the book for a class, but it wasn’t the kind of book that works well in a classroom setting. I wanted to not just understand the disciplines, but to begin making them habits in my life. So I decided to give each discipline plenty of space to breathe. I wanted to read one chapter and then practice that discipline until it became a habit before I moved on to the next chapter. I didn’t have a lot else to do, so I thought spending 10, 15, 20 hours a week practicing a discipline would be enough to make a habit. So at about a week per chapter for 12 weeks, I should be able to finish the book that summer And be a very holy man by the end.
Well, mastering a spiritual discipline isn’t possible to do in a week. It’s also not really the point. I ended up spending 3-4 weeks on each discipline just to get a feel for it becoming like a habit. By the end of the summer I’d only made it through the first three chapters: meditation, prayer, and fasting. But coming to know those as some form of habit has been very significant in my life.