Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Two Books

There are two kinds of books on spiritual growth.  One is the one about "doing."  The other kind is about "being."  We like the "how to do it" books better.  We are oriented toward following the directions and getting the desired result.  We also have an aversion toward the hard work necessary to really grow in our spiritual life.  The "how to do it" books give us a plan, we work it, and then we sit back expecting the promised results.  It is the easy way and most of us have a number of such books on our book shelves. 

The books about "being" are often viewed an unreadable.  Too challenging. They require thinking.  The "how to do it" books spell it out, but the books that focus on being do not present us a clear plan about to proceed toward spiritual maturity.  The road forward is not marked.  It is up to the one on the journey to figure it out.  Actually, it is not so much about the one on the journey figuring it out as it about being open to the Holy Spirit to provide the enabling power and guidance.  It becomes a partnership in which we seek to work in submission to whatever it is that God is doing.  It is the uncharted journey and the unpredictable way.

It is no wonder we have a fascination with the "how to do it" books.  And while they offer us something of value, they do not usually have the kind of staying power we really need for the journey.  They are the expendable books.  They are the trendy guides that have a limited lifetime on our book shelves.  The books about "being" are different in that we tend to hang on to them, read them more than once, and find ourselves living with them in a way that causes us to realize that something of lasting value is taking place in our relationship with the God who is leading us.      

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