Friday, July 15, 2011

the paradox of planning and spontaneity

...Many good things do not happen in our lives for the simple lack of planning.

Consultants get paid thousands of dollars to tell executives the obvious, because the obvious is neglected.  It's the same with all of us.  We fail to do what's best for us for lack of serious intention to do it.  Another name for serious intention is planning.  Most Christians neglect their Bibles not out of conscious disloyalty to Jesus, but because of failure to plan a time and place and method to read it.

The result is not spontaneity, but the same old rut.  If your longing is to be spontaneous in the way you commune with God, then build discipline into your Bible reading and prayer.  It sounds paradoxical.  But it's not more so than the paradox of corn spontaneously growing in a Minnesota field because the farmer's discipline of plowing and sowing and guarding the field.  He doesn't make the corn grow.  God does.  But God uses his farming disciplines as part of the process.  The rich fruit of spontaneity grows in the garden that is well tended by the discipline of schedule.

-John Piper

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Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year - it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul. -Unknown