John Eldredge at BGS Intensive…
“There are very few “normal” days. When I first open my eyes, if God gives me that, I can cry out, “Father. Father. Father”. Dallas Willard.
The warfare today is astounding. Satan has unleashed two things on the earth in recent years – death and hatred. There is a spirit of death everywhere. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but good people, young people, healthy people are dying all over the place. Drug deaths. Suicides. Murder/suicide. Random execution of law enforcement. Church shootings. Death everywhere.
Hatred – it’s everywhere. Political hatred is at a new all-time high. Rage everywhere. Social media is infected with it. Seemingly good people are suddenly at odds with one another with a burning hatred over differences of opinion. It’s everywhere you look.
The stories you will hear at this camp will stagger you. This is a dark, dark world and the war is raging.
(John didn’t say this – another man at camp shared it) … this quote of, “How much blood must the sword spill of your daughters before you will wake up and realize just how intense this war is?”
We must not kid ourselves about the intensity of the war that rages against us and our families. Denial is not a good strategy.
If it brings life, they will gravitate to it.
If I don’t like the effect something is having on me, I’ll just walk out of the room. My family knows this. My sons do it. When the conversation turns petty or negative or combative, we’ll just get up and walk out of the room.
Look for the things that bring you life – being outside, riding your bike, standing in the sun soaking up vitamin D. Grab it. In the chaotic, even 20 minutes away is a reset.
Your soul matters … immensely. It is worth caring for and we are living at a completely insane pace.
First – You should have a secret life that is fuel. A flight back to the real. Take a rock and a stick. Hold them. Feel it. Loving the real, hating the fake.
Nationwide survey in 2001 – can’t imagine what this data is like today – but back in 2001, Americans spent 93% of their lives indoors. We have no idea how damaging that is to the soul. Artificial world. Artificial light. Artificial sound. Artificial climate.
Embrace the practices that bring you back to the “real”.
Second – practice the fine art of engaging “Benevolent Detachment”.
“Jesus, I give everyone and everything to you. Release them. All of them to you. I pray the Cross of Christ between me and them. Between their junk and me. Allow it no place in my life. Bless them. Bless them Lord. I release them to you.”
This is your mother in law. Yes. Your boss. Your co-worker. Your biggest client. Your parents.
You have no idea how much you’re carrying out of a “good heart”. Release all of them to Jesus.
Augustine said, “We must empty ourselves of all that is full so that we can be filled with everything that is empty.”
10am and 2pm every day, take a monastic minute. A one-minute pause. 60 seconds. Twice a day to give everyone and everything to Jesus. Release all of it.
Care for your soul is first. It’s primary. It’s the first thing to go, the first thing you must get back. CS Lewis said, “It all rushes at you like a pack of wild animals.” Your first priority is to restore.
Allow the grace of transitions. Don’t force your soul through traumatic situations, multiple gear changes. Pause. Breathe. Do nothing. Then go to the next thing.
Beauty is everywhere. It heals. It nourishes. Take in daily beauty. It is a reminder that everything is going to be OK. Frost. Sun through a window. The sound of rain. The key is to take it in, “I receive this beauty into my soul and allow it to nourish me.”
What are you doing with the assault on your attention? It is ruthless. Transformation takes place when we can look to God and receive God’s beauty. It is a full-on fight for your attention. Watching trauma on TV brings trauma into your soul.
The whole goal is union with God. Union of being. Life of God flowing into us.
___________ sucks life from me. Part with it.
___________ brings me life. Spend your time there.
Some things can be rescued. Some can’t.
Some people can be rescued. Some can’t
Discern the two. Be tactical where you go and what you do.
Going from shallow soil to good soil, there are no short cuts. But remember, “Those with good soil reap a return of 30x, 60x, 100x what was planted.”