Posts Tagged ‘spiritual disciplines’

“Deep ruts that become the equivalent of instinct”

October 29, 2009

I couldn’t have said it better myself, so I won’t try. The following is an excerpt from an excellent book on spiritual formation by David deSilva. If you’ve taken the short-term New Testament Disciple class, deSilva is one of the hosts of and contributors to the video series (soft-spoken guy with glasses).

We focus so easily on the needs of the moment that press on us from outside ourselves—the business of our jobs, housework, getting ready for school, preparing some meal, meeting this or that deadline… Under the weight of such demands, we grasp for the refreshments and painkillers that are also available in the moment, wearing for ourselves deep ruts that become the equivalent of instinct. Days, weeks, months, years easily pass without our truly attending to those things that shall endure. So many regrets uttered beside—or from—a deathbed are born of “not having had enough time,” often a euphemism for having spent so much time so poorly.[1]

As you may know, our church’s stewardship emphasis begins this week and continues through November 15. Think about deSilva’s words in relation to stewardship: Every moment of our lives is a precious gift from God. Every good thing that we possess and enjoy comes from God, including the resources of money, time, talent, and intellect. How might we better spend these resources “on those things that shall endure”?

[1] David A. deSilva, Sacramental Life: Spiritual Formation Through the Book of Common Prayer (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2008), 119.


Centering ourselves

October 28, 2009

A characteristic of the gospel of Mark is the way the author sandwiches a story within a story. Mark begins telling one story, which gets interrupted by another, before returning to the first. A classic example is Mark 5:21-42: While on his way to heal Jairus’s daughter, Jesus confronts the hemorrhaging woman who touches his cloak. This delay adds suspense to the narrative: will Jairus’s daughter die before Jesus makes it to his house? It also forces us to ask what the two stories have in common.

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