Living a Passionately Simple and Connected Life to Community

Weekend Musings

The Wisdom of StabilityLiving an intensely local life is not easy, comfortable or without conflict. It is just a way we have to rediscover if we want to reach the post modern world with the gospel. The following are all quotes from Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove‘s The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture (Paraclete Press, 2010)

“To move ever closer to God is not to move away from our troubled and troubling neighbors, but closer to them.” (p. 50)

“The difference between progress and wandering seems to depend on whether we can trust God to deliver us from bondage in the place where we are.” (p. 51)

“From the very beginning of the desert tradition, the Psalter was used as a school for instructing the soul in the language of life with God.” (p. 65)

“The psalms are a practical school for life with God, teaching language by immersion and inviting us into the lived reality of a community’s story.” (p. 66)

“Interruption scientists have begun to study the effects of our obsession with multitasking on the work that we actually get done in a given day. After studying workers at two high-tech firms for more than one thousand hours, Gloria Mark reported that workers, on average spend just eleven minutes on a project before switching to another. … But Mark’s research also show that , once distracted, workers take an average of twenty-five minutes to return to their interrupted task. For ‘knowledge workers’ who put in a an eight-hour day, more than a fourth of their work times is consumed by interruptions. Like a kid who jumps off the roof, convinced that he can defy gravity, we are beginning to feel the consequences of our disdain for the limits of time.” (p. 71)

“If he often moves from place to place at his own whim, or remaining in one place is frequently agitated by hatred of it, [a person] never achieves stability with roots of love.”  —Anselm quoted in The Wisdom of Stability, p. 83

“To embrace the limits of a place is to learn to look at the people around us with fresh expectation. ‘These are the people God has given for the sake of my salvation,’ we can say as we look at our family, neighbors, coworkers, or fellow church members. Whether these people are easy to love is not the question. Stability invites us to ask, ‘How are they gifts from God to help me grow in love?'” (p. 90)

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