For a human character to reveal truly exceptional qualities, one must have the good fortune to be able to observe its performance over many years. If this performance is devoid of all egoism, if its guiding motive is unparalleled generosity, if it is absolutely certain there is no thought of recompense and that, in addition, it has left its visible mark upon the earth, then there can be no mistake.
– Jean Giono, The Man Who Planted Trees
Who can forget when Daniel, the Karate Kid, visited Mr. Miyagi in his understated workshop? Or when Luke Skywalker was led to the swamp and encountered Master Yoda? Both young men found themselves responding to an invitation to enter a process of becoming. The theme is universal: the human soul is formed and forged at the feet of a wise master.
Yet this vision of apprenticeship to a Master is often exchanged for a commitment to autonomy and self-realization, especially in a culture enamored with the freshness of youth and fiercely committed to convenience.
Dallas named this resistance to discipleship as “vampire Christianity.” In his words, this resistance effectively says to Jesus, “Yes, I’d like a little of your blood, please. But I don’t care to be your student or have your character. In fact, won’t you just excuse me while I get on with my life, and I’ll see you in heaven.” (1)
The Spirit is faithfully reissuing the invitation to apprenticeship to this generation. And together, we can respond. We can say yes to Jesus’ offer of a front-row seat in his “Master Class for Kingdom-Living” and choose the narrow road of inner transformation.
Join me in episode 7 of the 8-part Become Good Soil Intensive Series as we do the sacred work of turning to elders in the Kingdom, the fathers of our faith, to allow their counsel to orient, refresh, and strengthen the kingly heart set within us.
The deadline for applications for the next U.S. Intensive is October 12th. Find out more.
For the Kingdom,
(2) The Great Omission by Dallas Willard