The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9.
Then he [Jesus] said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” – Luke 9:23.
Discipleship – Lived Daily
Fritz represents the Air Force Academy football team, making remarkable catches. But he doesn’t play wide receiver or running back. A prairie falcon, Fritz regularly accompanies the team as a mascot, staging halftime shows that delight the crowd. Plunging from the top of a stadium at speeds up to 100 miles per hour, Fritz can pluck a leather pouch out of midair. A group of cadets raise, train, and show the falcons. While a number of necessary factors enter into the training, there is one that guarantees success: daily discipline for the birds. Should the trainers relax the regimen for even a week, the birds would return to their wild state.
With good reason Jesus taught the need of daily self-denial in our Christian life. Without it, we run the risk of returning to a more familiar, less demanding lifestyle. While we live in the flesh, the danger of reverting to our undisciplined, unspiritual state demands daily self-denial. As in the falcons, our past always lurks closer than we think. Only as we train daily do we keep it at bay.