Roots & Vision

I don’t have any better words for you today than these I read this morning…

What would you think of a pollster who issued a definitive report on how the American people felt about a new television program, if we discovered later that he had interviewed only one person who had seen only ten minutes of the program? We would dismiss the conclusions as frivolous.

Yet that is exactly the kind of evidence that too many Christians accept as the final truth about many much more important matters — matters such as answered prayer, God’s judgment, Christ’s forgiveness, eternal salvation. The only person they consult is themselves, and the only experience they evaluate is the most recent ten minutes.

But we need other experiences, the community of experience of brothers and sisters in the church, the centuries of experience provided by our biblical ancestors. A Christian who has David in his bones, Jeremiah in his bloodstream, Paul in his fingertips and Christ in his heart will know how much and how little value to put on his own momentary feelings and the experience of the past week.

We need roots in the past to give obedience ballast and breadth; we need a vision of the future to give obedience direction and goal.

Excerpt from A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society by Eugene Peterson.