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Continuing the Pursuit of the Simple Life

How does one get a clear vision of who God is and how does knowing oneself fit into the mix? David Benner in The Gift of Being Yourself, The Sacred Call to Self Discovery with empathy and insight offers guidance in these two great tasks.

How does one get a clear vision of who God is and how does knowing oneself fit into the mix? David Benner in The Gift of Being Yourself, The Sacred Call to Self Discovery with empathy and insight offers guidance in these two great tasks.


Benner’s premise echoes voices of both Augustine in the 4th century and John Calvin in the 16th century. You cannot really know God unless you know yourself and you cannot really know yourself unless you know God.Augustine prayed “Grant Lord, that I may know myself that I may know Thee”.


Benner’s book is one of the best, short books I have read in a long time that explains the critical, foundational insight needed for becoming who God intended us to be. And, it is a good follow up to the challenge Tiffany Stein exposed us to in her August 17 Tapestry blog on pursuing the simple life.


Tiffany hit the nail on the head in stating that we need “a fundamental shift from the over-scheduled, urge-to-produce and need-to-achieve lifestyle praised in today’s mega-caffeinated society to a life guided by a clear vision of who God is, who I am in relation to him, and what he is calling me to do in response to my understanding of him.  Such clarity brings peace, direction, and yes, the coveted simplicity of knowing that I am exactly where God would have me to be doing the things that he has called me to do.”


The Lord understood this need for clarity and invites us in Matthew 11:28-30 to “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” The pursuit of knowing God more intimately is worth all the effort it takes.


 If you resonate with those of us who long for a calmer, more anchored life that our souls are screaming for in this hectic pressured world consider reading Benner’s book. When you finish it you might consider his companion volume, Surrender to Love, Discovering the Heart of Christian Spirituality also published by Formatio of Intervarsity Press.

 

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Gail Seidel

Gail Seidel served as Mentor Advisor for Spiritual Formation in the Department of Spiritual Formation and Leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and as an Adjunct Professor in the D Min in Spiritual Formation in the D Min Department at Dallas Theological Seminary. She has a BA in English from the University of Texas, a Masters in Christian Education from Dallas Seminary and a D Min in Spiritual Formation from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She is a contributor to the textbook, Foundations of Spiritual Formation, Kregel Academic. She served as co-director for Christian Women in Partnership Russia with Entrust, an international church leadership-training mission. She and her husband Andy live in Fredericksburg, Texas. They have 2 married children and 6 wonderful grandchildren--Kami, Kourtney, Katie, Mallory, Grayson, and Avery.

One Comment

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    Cheri Hudspith

    I woke up this morning in a

    I woke up this morning in a bit of a panic about how many things I need to do and how many of those things require thoughtful and prayerful time to do them well. What a vicious cycle and even hypocritcal given that I really believe in the wisdom of resful/activity.

    So I sat with the Lord and listed them all out. Emails promised. Blogs that need to be written. Chores for my family. The exercise I need to keep my sanity. Then I said to the Lord I have no idea how all this can get done. But here you go. What shall I do first?

    That is the only way I know how to simply cope with my complex personality and culture and not be hypocritical.

    Thanks for sending me the link to this. I'm glad I felt the freedome to both read it and respond to it even though that didn't make it on to my list this morning! Ha!

    Blessings to you this day, Gail!

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