To allow one's self to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit one's self to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. Frenzy destroys our capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:15-17)
Unless our identity is hid in God we will never know who we are or what we are to do. Our first act must be prayer, oratio. To be human is to pray, to meditate both day and night on the love and activity of God. We are called to be continuously formed and transformed by the thought of God within us. Prayer is a disciplined dedication to paying attention. Without the singleminded attentiveness of prayer we will rarely hear anything worth repeating or catch a vision worth asking anyone else to gaze upon.
~John H. Westerhoff III and John D. Eusden
"You're writing another book about yourself?" Jordan asked. He was sitting at the counter in the kitchen eating a bowl of cereal. He had his laptop open and was choosing the starting lineup for his college fantasy basketball team. He'd been playing the game for a year and finally had a division one team. He said he was going to start his best defense, because defense wins championships.
"I'm not writing a book. I'm not talking about a book. I'm talking about me. I don't think I'm telling a good story."
"I think you tell good stories. Lots of people think so."
"I tell good stories in books. I don't live good stories."
Jordan poured more milk in his cereal. He was looking at me while pouring the milk. He was squinting his eyes a little and furrowing his brow. He stopped pouring the milk. He kept looking at me for ten seconds or more, like he was studying me.
"You're right," he finally said. "You aren't living a good story."
"That's what I was saying."
"I see," he said.
"What do I do about that?"
"You're a writer. You know what to do."
"No, I don't."
Jordan looked at me with his furrowed brow again. "You put something on the page," he said. "Your life is a blank page. You write on it."
(A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller)