I love the reality that this book demands I examine. Willard reminds me that careful attention to spiritual disciplines is only half of the enchilada – as they say. It is equally important that I know and understand why I am applying these disciplines to my spiritual life.
Incidentally, I find Willard echoing the sentiments of the Bible book of James. There are many Christians who struggle with James’ inclusion into the canon of Scripture… and understandably so. For James resists easy-believism and stresses that following Jesus has EVERYTHING to do with our actions as well as our words.
For Willard there is no conflict. His view reinforced in me the growing notion that it is not enough to say I believe Jesus was who He said He was – the Way, the Truth and the Life – and all that. There is also a re-defining lifestyle that I choose as a Christ-follower. One that affects the way I treat others. The way I treat my world. The way I treat my own spiritual development.
The “let go and let God” mentality can only be applied so far. Part of my maturing is wrapped up in my daily choices and how I choose to think and speak and live.