A Long Obedience


Eugene Peterson is credit with the pungent expression, “A long obedience in the same direction.”

I watched a fascinating application of that recently.

Fred is a marathoner in the game of life.  I have watched him for a number of years “front load the investment” with the best of them.  It has been frustrating for me to watch him get less return on investment than I thought he ought to, considering the fierce intentionality he brought to the table regarding character and principles.

He worked vigorously above zero, not just in deliverance and inner healing.

Recently he experienced a surprising lurch.  We went back to the Lord and tried to deconstruct what he had accidentally done right.  We feel what the Lord showed us is that there was a window of time that was out of his control, when a catalytic experience could take place, but that the window of time would only be viable for him, if he had been “doing the stuff” rigorously before that.

So he intentionally walked out the disciplines, but then unknowingly walked into the window of time he knew nothing about.  The combination of the two produced the big shift.

This is a very graphic picture of the ten virgins.  They too had a window of time that was out of their control.  But they had been diligent with the things that were in their control, and therefore, when the small window came, they were ready and able to transition from one season to another with grace.

Doing a long obedience in the same direction is challenging at times, especially when you see no progress.  It is quite intriguing to think of that long obedience intersecting with catalytic time.  But a window of time without the long obedience is simply wasted.

Copyright December 2015 by Arthur Burk Trauma Bonds to Time Noble Subject blog

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5 Responses to A Long Obedience

  1. Paul says:

    This is powerfully encouraging, motivating and enlightening! Eugene Peterson may have authored this dictum, but you have brought it to life for me, Arthur! The prospect of that kairos moment intersecting with a long obedience is absolutely exhilarating! Thank you, Arthur!

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  2. Pastor Barry Leisegang says:

    Arthur
    Like Joseph, Jeptha and David setting down a foundation that is. Years in the making.Trying to fix what you can when you can.God seems to make you the key or the answer to your community.

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  3. viviennehines says:

    I praise the Lord for Fried’s endurance.

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  4. Serina says:

    I honor Fred for his walk and faithfulness. May he receive back much more than he has invested.

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  5. Karibu says:

    Thanks for sharing this Arthur. It’s very timely. And thanks to Fred whose investment is being rewarded beyond the immediate return by blessing the tribe.

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