I am putting some links in my sidebar to books that profoundly affected my early spiritual walk and formation. They are classics.
Not all such catalysts are books, but those are the things widely available to all of us. Certain music has had that effect on me, but not for a long time. Now I find it is people and experiences more. Perhaps this is the way stages of life move on. I think for me, now, the important thing is the laying down of substance in my life’s building, maybe that could be worded as building the treasuries. The blueprints were already laid out, and some of these listed writers had an influence on that. Now I am more pronounced in the action of my faith, even if that means that my steps are miniscule and imperceptible to others. Others opinion and their measures have faded to the place that I am not sure I take that into account whatsoever on the spiritual plane. Some would find that unhealthy, but I think of Paul who said he didn’t even trust his own judgment of himself, but moved on in faith that God had matters in hand.
- The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
- Realities of faith by Basilea Schlink
- Hinds’ Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard
There are some others, and I will add to the list from time to time, but these slim volumes had a great impact on me. I used them in a devotional way, which is to say with prayer and with actions that imbedded them into my life.
I have moved through that mystical time of my life to a more practical “Martha” form, but that early embedding was a strong foundation for me in my realtionship to the Lord. It is my compass point in many ways. Sometimes I feel that I have fallen far from where I should be, but at other times I glimpse that my life now is the tested result of those early abstracts. I know what I have withsood, I have a sounding of confidence in God now, inspite of my battered spiritual appearance I have remained.
There is some comfort in that…. although the beautiful vision I had of where I would have been at this time…. well, it is a bit more homely than I would have liked. But this is the sure sovreignty of God: that He will have His way, and we will find that we must surrender ours. It will look different than we first imagined.
I am not sad at this, in fact I am very hopeful at this juncture and it is my inclination to revisit some of those early influences and activities with the who that I am now. To re-expose myself to God’s work on my soul through these authors and through some of the manner of those early years, prayer and devotion. The classics.
I look forward. Kind of like, ….Paul.