A long obedience in the same direction. Sound familiar? Famous atheist Friedrich Nietzsche said this in the early 20th Century book entitled Beyond Good and Evil.
The entire quote is “The essential thing “in heaven and earth” is that there should be long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.”
Note that Nietzsche did not identify what that something should be only that it should be if life is going to be worth living. You name it, whatever, then make sure you are long obedient to it and don’t go off course and you will be happy.
Of course we know there are many things in this life we could apply that to that result in self-absorption, destruction or at best a life of mediocrity.
So what is that something that truly makes life worth living? I submit is our intentionality to be an apprentice of Christ.
Dallas Willard wrote in The Great Omission:
“So the greatest issue facing the world today, with all its heartbreaking needs, is whether those who, by profession or culture, are identified as “Christians” will become disciples – students, apprentices, practitioners- of Jesus Christ, steadily learning from him how to live the life of the Kingdom of the Heavens into every corner of human existence. Will they break out of the churches to be His Church-to be, without human force or violence, His mighty force for good on earth, drawing the churches after them toward the eternal purposes of God? And, on its own scale, there is no greater issue facing the individual human being Christian or not.”
Don’t miss this:THE GREATEST ISSUE is our decision to be His Apprentice on this earth at this time.
It is no wonder our world is not working when you consider the small number of people who get this and understand this inside and outside the church today, yesterday and sadly for many days to come.
A world not working is a world where love, joy, an interior life full of peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control are scarce and to some degree non existent.
A life abounding in these is not possible outside an intentional life of being Christ apprentice. That is why it is our greatest need.
Many of us will even dismiss this and say this is one man’s opinion and that this is not the greatest issue facing the world today. That is your free will to do but beware you do it at your own personal demise.
There is truly no greater issue in the world today then to intentionally want to live in God’s will for your life. It’s reality no matter what you think. This is not intolerance as I will think no less of you or not associate with you if you do not believe this but I will have great sadness in my heart for you even loving you more as I want and desire His best for you.
So what does a life of long obedience in the same direction look like in the template of apprenticeship to Christ?
It’s a life where you immerse yourself in His Word, slowly, imaginatively and prayerfully. It’s a “scriptureprayer”, “prayerscripture” life. There is no typo here as these two words cannot be separated as they are dependent on one another. It’s a life lived in detail through these two spiritual practices. Lived everywhere, on the street, on the job, in your home, lived through cancer, divorce, children, marriage and even death. This is the way, the only way we are able to listen to God speak into our lives the needed guidance, direction and understanding day by day.
What have you been long obedient to in the same direction?
Is it making your life worth living?