(This was originally posted to renown on March 15, 2010.)
A few years ago I heard a pastor say "I need to be mentored by more dead
guys." I've remembered that and tried to implement it into my
reading/learning habits and read several books from dead guys each year.
That's definitely the case this year as "Dead guys" was a whole
category on my 2010 reading list which you can see HERE.
Right now I'm reading The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis.
He was born in the 1300s and wrote this masterpiece in the 1400s. He
was a medieval mystic - I have read those guys before and am always
rejuvenated in my devotion to Jesus when I read what they have to say!
One of the greatest things I am reminded of is how crazy busy my life is and how
much better I can connect to God if I simply slow down a little, take a
deep breath, and create a little space for Him to invade my soul.
I completely understand where (Steven James) the writer of the intro to this translation of Imitation is coming from when he wrote: "I've been to monasteries several times on four-day silent retreats. After
about twenty minutes I've had all the deep spiritual insights I can
take. I start frantically looking around for a computer to check my
email. I wouldn't make a very good monk."
Haha, that's totally me!
Thomas a Kempis says "he who does not try to become the least, the servant of all, cannot be at peace for very long."
I definitely need to hear stuff like that. Most of us know that climbing
the corporate ladder and pushing our way to be on top doesn't really
satisfy or make us happy... but we still do it anyway. We know it
doesn't bring peace... just more stress. But, for some reason it's what
we pursue. Those CEOs are the ones we imitate instead of Christ.
And I really love hearing a Kempis talk about "living it" over "learning it" = "What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity?... I
would rather feel contrition than know how to define it. For what would
it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all
the philosophers if we live without the grace of God?"
I think my heart is already beating at a slower, healthier pace and I am satisfied resting in God. I'm stoked about being mentored by this really old mystic monk! (He would currently be 630 years old!)