Saturday, February 15, 2014

Two Booster Rockets for Life

Two books are currently having the impact of booster rockets in my life.

Wikipedia defines a booster rocket as: "a strap-on rocket used to augment the core launch vehicle's takeoff thrust and payload capability. Boosters are generally necessary to launch spacecraft into Earth's orbit or beyond." A great description of the impact of these books on me.

Theologian and writer, Dallas Willard died in 2013. Ever since reading an article about him by John Ortberg, written after his death and published in Christianity Today, I have wanted to read his books. You can read the article for yourself here.

In Willard's book, The Spirit of the Disciplines, he opens up the difference between trying to follow Christ by responding to life's circumstances in a "godly way," and actually becoming godly in character by following Christ's pattern of life--the spiritual disciplines he practiced. Willard the describes those disciplines and how their practice is the secret of the "easy yoke" Christ speaks of:
Matthew 11:30
The Message (MSG)
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
The book is challenging; inspiring; inviting and exciting! I have glimpsed glimmers of this truth at times, but never understood it as clearly, or the futility of undertaking a life of faith from any other standpoint. I love this book.

Another book that I am reading is The War of Art by Simon Pressfield. This book is not about faith; it is written primarily to help artists understand the forces that lead to procrastination; but it has spiritual application and implications for all parts of our lives. It is motivating and inspiring in a different way to Willard's book but read together they are twin booster rockets! 

Pressfield identifies "resistance" as a force that derails all of our best intentions. Understanding the concept of resistance and how it plays out in my own life, has galvanized me! Recognizing and naming a foe, tends to have the effect of defeating it. Now I understand the darker force behind procrastination--the urge to organize the fridge or clean my house--in fact do anything other than the key thing I really should be doing. 

Know your enemy and defeat him. :) 


Anonymous said...

Have the War of Art on my bookshelf, read it once and shared it with a few people but perhaps it is time to pull it off the shelf again. So many books, so little time :-)

Thanks Bo-linda.


Belinda Burston said...

Hi Dear Deborah! How cool that you have the book too. I totally agree with the TMBTLT thing! Some are gems though, that are companions for life and I think that these two are!

Susan said...

Downloaded The Spirit of the Disciplines onto my iPad and have the foreword and the first chapter under my belt. Having tried every which way to mostly avoid these disciplines all of my life, and yet still somehow expect that I should be an overcomer, I can attest to the futility of such a silly expectation! I'm sorry to say that I'm the most stubborn of the intransigent, but today I'm turning over a new leaf. I am making every effort, this time, not to be kicking and screaming all the way, nor to be quitting already in my heart before I even start but simply submitting - giving up without a fight - to what I know will be, perhaps not the easiest path to CHOOSE, but will certainly be the easiest - and most peaceful - path to live. Onward and upward.

The Art book will have to wait for another day. I'll have enough on my plate in the days ahead with just one half of your rocket boosting power. :)

Thanks for sharing this.... (Understatement)

Belinda Burston said...

Oh, Susan, it will be fun to put on the "easy yoke" together. I hope that you really enjoy Dallas Willard. I can't imagine anything else!