God is the author of all things beautiful, when you see something that catches your breath, something which captivates you so you just have to stay and gaze, it is a God-given occurrence. A provocation to worship him.
I’d like us to return to Dallas Willard’s thoughts today, to ponder what else he says helps us develop our life in ways to be more like Jesus.
Renovation of The Heart
‘Similarly, we need to choose the images we will allow to stay in our minds.
Music, poetry, and pictures can channel our thoughts towards God. Christian architecture, sculpture, painting and drawing, all these can stir us and calm us, challenge us and reassure us, take us to the depths and lift us to the heights. They nourish us emotionally and intellectually.
Of course we need to do all these things that focus our thoughts on God not only on our own, but also with others. Spiritual formation cannot, in the nature of the case, be an entirely private thing, because it is a matter of whole-life transformation. We need to seek out others who are pursuing renovation of the heart. They might be members of our own family, or a nearby congregation of Christians. We must pray that God will lead us to others who can accompany us.
Some of these will be writers from the past, and others, those who have been written about. We can learn a great deal from those who have written truly about living the Christian life, and from those who have lived it faithfully.
Friends and companions in the way of renovation can be found among these writers. It is easy to imagine that only modern writing will be relevant to us, but a glance at writers from Augustine to Bonhoeffer will dispel that illusion. The challenges facing us may be different, and the style of those writers may sometimes be difficult, but we share the desire to honour Christ and these are people who can help.
If we focus on God through his Word and walk in the way of those who know by experience the transformation of the mind, we will share in that transformation.’
I wonder, is there a writer who has helped in your transformation? An artist? A musician?
Who might you like to get together with for a meal to chat about the things which matter to you, the things which make your heart soar?