Creating Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction
By: Tom Grosh IV, DMin
September 1, 2019
"Talking about Jesus while ignoring the way of Jesus has created an American Christianity that is far more American than it is Christian. Paying all our spiritual attention to the message of Jesus while ignoring his practices has not only led people like me into devastating life crises, it has also created a country of Christians whose practical lives are divorced from their actual faith….”
—Justin Whitmel Earley, The Common Rule: Creating Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction
On Sunday, September 8, I begin teaching "Creating Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction" as a fall Sunday school class at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ church:
“You've heard of Spiritual Disciplines and you've dismissed them because ‘normal’ people don't have time for that! The Common Rule by mergers and acquisitions lawyer Justin Whitmel Earley offers a contemporary rule of life—practical, relevant, transformative for different walks of life. Learn daily and weekly habits in ways that you never have before.”
To share the blessing, I will post material on the CMDA South Central Pennsylvania blog. Click here to learn more about the text. As a teaser, below is a quote and a few reflections from "Introduction: Discovering the Freedom of Limitations."
“That night in the hospital, the doctor gave me a bottle of sleeping pills and told me I needed to slow down. Of course I had no idea how to slow down. Busyness functions like an addiction. When you stop, you have to face your thoughts, which terrifies most of us. So to cope you have to keep up the busyness. I started taking the sleeping pills and thus began the darkest phase I have ever known.”
Influenced by his experience as a missionary in China, Justin has a passion for shaping the world through business and law. But ambition as a way of life led to busyness, which resulted in tiredness, clinical anxiety and panic attacks. His calling, job, family and home looked successful. But "the yes to everything and no to nothing" led to God not being at the center of his life. How did he develop a new way of life? A life offered to the Lord? Better rhythms (daily and weekly) and accountability: "habits are water we swim in…they form our hearts…habits are how we get our hands on our purpose," he writes.
Questions for your prayerful consideration:
- What are your habits?
- How would you describe your way of life and who you are becoming?
- In whom do you place your trust regarding next steps?
- "What if the good life doesn't come from having the ability to do what we want but from having the ability to do what we were made for?"
- "What if true freedom comes from choosing the right limitations, not avoiding all limitations?"
As those created in your image, grant us the grace to grow in love of you and neighbor with head, heart and hands. Give us insight and accountability as we press into "Changing Hearts in Healthcare."
In Christ's name,