That morning cup of coffee is with my new, dear friend, Eugene Peterson, and sadly it doesn’t mean I sit and have coffee with him in person, but through his writing. Last fall, I read The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction, with my pastor, Phil, after good friends, in Athens, Greece, recommended it to me. I really enjoyed the book, but now it would seem that the words of Mr. Peterson are penetrating my heart in a way that they did not, when I read The Contemplative Pastor. My director (Billy) and I are reading are now reading A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society. I know another long title! I love long titles!
The title alone seems so timely for myself and for the world you and we live in. I’m only a mere two chapters into the book and I’ve already have had so much to ponder, pray and meditate on. I wanted to share some quotes that made me go, “hmmmmm, that’s good!” Or, “ouch that stings a bit!” I hope these move you as well! Swing by a bookstore and pick this book up and enjoy a morning cup of kava with Eugene as well!
“Many claim to have been born again, but the evidence for mature Christian discipleship is slim. In our kind of culture anything, even news about God, can be sold if it is packaged freshly; but when it loses its novelty, it goes on the garbage heap. There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness.”
“Meanwhile the world whispers, ‘Why bother? There is plenty to enjoy without involving yourself in all that. The past is a graveyard – ignore it; the future is a holocaust – avoid it. There is no payoff for discipleship, there is no destination for pilgrimage. Get God the quick way; buy instant charisma.’”
Ah, there is so much more, but we will leave it there for now. What hit you about those quotes? Any reactions? Here’s to setting forward on the long, rugged path of discipleship, that the world, and even much of the quick-fix, Evangelical church shuns!