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Chapter 5 about the Rule of Life and Intermission about Spiritual Disciplines.
Review, Reflect and Discuss
Feel free to comment and raise any questions that occur to you as you read. Don’t be limited to the questions listed after each summary, but they might help to prime your thinking.
Chapter 5 – Jesus was never in a hurry. He was always present to the person in the moment, even though he was continually interrupted. He was often busy but never hurried, because of the way he did life. He put ‘margin’ into his life, often spending time alone with his Father, practising Sabbath and simplicity etc. He lived ‘freely and lightly’ and then called us to follow him. The key question is how do we follow Jesus, how do we live so that it’s like Jesus would live if he were us? By aligning our schedule with our values. In other words, we need a rule of life so we live around what really matters. A rule of life is like a trellis for our life of abiding in Jesus, a schedule and set of practices. We think we don’t have time but we have to reallocate our time to seek his kingdom first. If we don’t have time then we are too busy. Are you ready to construct a trellis?
- What is it about Jesus that gives his life that unhurried feel? How did he manage to be busy but never in a hurry?
- What would you need to do to live around what really matters?
- What would a trellis – a rule of life – look like for you?
Intermission – before moving on to his four core practices, JMC explains spiritual disciplines (the traditional name for these practices) by looking at the habits of Jesus in his everyday life. A discipline is ‘any activity I can do by direct effort that will eventually enable me to do that which, currently, I can not do by direct effort.’ With spiritual disciplines, they open us to a power beyond ourselves, the power of God himself. Jesus doesn’t command these practices, but he does them and then calls us to follow him. He invites us rather than commands us to follow him in his habits of life.
- What comes into your mind when you think of discipline and spiritual disciplines?
- Do JMC’s definition of discipline and Dallas Willard’s definition of spiritual discipline help you to understand and respond to the idea of spiritual disciplines?
I am suggesting we take each of the four core practices one at a time. So for next time just read Chapter 6 – Silence and Solitude.