“There was a new thing at work in me. And I had learned something about how we do change – and how we do not. In particular, I had learned that intensity is crucial for any progress in spiritual perception and understanding. To dribble a few verses or chapters of scripture on oneself through the week, in church or out, will not reorder one’s mind and spirit – just as one drop of water every five minutes will not get you a shower, no matter how long you keep it up. You need a lot of water at once and for a sufficiently long time. Similarly for the written Word.
“A year or so later I learned a related lesson with regard to prayer. In the tradition in which I was brought up, scripture reading and prayer were the two main religious things one might do, in addition to attending services of the church. But I was not given to understand that these had to be practiced in a certain way if they were to make a real difference in one’s life. In particular I did not understand the intensity with which they must be done, nor that the appropriate intensity required that they be engaged in for lengthy periods of undistracted time on a single occasion. Moreover, one’s life as a whole had to be arranged in such a way that this would be possible. One must not be agitated, hurried, or exhausted when the time of prayer and study came. Hence one cannot tack an effective, life-transforming practice of prayer and study onto ‘life as usual’. Life as usual must go. It will be replaced by something far better.” Dallas Willard
“Imitate me in exactly the way I imitate Christ.” Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11:1
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Have you concluded that “life as usual must go?” If so, what has changed?
- Are you spending enough “undistracted time” in prayer and study for those practices to be “life-transforming?”
- Have you “arranged [your life] in such a way that this untypical approach to life would be possible?” If so, how so?
Abba, help me, in the midst of this confused, distracted world, to renounce the practice of life as usual. Lead me into truly life-transforming practices for my good – and the good of others.
For More: The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”