Saturday, March 22, 2014
I have just finished reading a book entitled, "Bonhoeffer" by Eric Metaxas. If you are a browser at any bookstore, you likely have seen the volume with this bespectacled man peering at you from the cover. I knew about this German martyr of WWII, but after reading the book, I realized how little I knew about someone who lived such an extraordinary life of faith. One of the things which struck me about his life was his commitment to an ordered approach to spiritual disciplines. When he started a seminary for ordinands, he made sure their daily routine was filled with ample time for meditating on the Scripture and prayer. What is described is nothing like I remember from my seminary days.
And when Dietrich Bonhoeffer was imprisoned, he only continued with this life long practice of an ordered life filled with prayer and the Word. The author wrote, "From the beginning of his time until the end, Bonhoeffer maintained the daily discipline of scripture meditation and prayer he had been practicing for more than a decade. Each morning he meditated for at least half an hour on a verse of Scripture. And he interceded for his friends and relatives and for his brothers in the Confessing Church." To a friend he wrote that this life gave continuity and grounding when caught up in different circumstances.
One of things we are caused to see is the careless way we practice spiritual disciplines. How different our spiritual journey would be if we were determined to pray and meditate on the Word in an ordered and deliberate manner. How different our life would be if we began and ended each day with prayer and the Word. It was one of those things which sustained this martyr in his last years and days as he waited for whatever it was that was before him. We are faced with such lesser things than was he. Perhaps, it is one of the reasons we live believing that we can go it alone without the constant help of our Father God.