Richard Foster

Wednesday: Observe Joy

Joy, not grit, is the hallmark of holy obedience. We need to be lighthearted in what we do to avoid taking ourselves too seriously. It is a cheerful revolt against self and pride. Our work is jubilant, carefree, merry. Utter abandonment to God is done freely and with celebration. And so I urge you to enjoy this ministry of self-surrender. Don’t push too hard. Hold this work lightly, joyfully.
— Richard J. Foster, Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World

In Freedom of Simplicity, Richard Foster describes holy obedience. Known for his many writings on Christian discipline, his rich theology of intentional living inspires many Christians in their discipleship and growth. When I imagine someone who is known for discipline, merriment doesn't come to mind. However, when I consider my role-models in the faith, there is a cheerfulness about them that attracts me. This difference of demeanor seems to be the marker of those who are working from a place of need and those moved by desire. 

Contemplate his statement: 

What stands out to you? Do you tend to be a lighthearted believer or does seriousness come more natural? Would you describe your work as jubilant, carefree, or merry?  

Reflect on this Advent season and your preparation for Christmas day:

As you seek holy obedience, do you tend to rely on joy or grit?

What does it mean in your life, and in this season, to cheerfully revolt against self and pride? 

Reflect on your relationship with The Light:

What would it mean to freely throw open the doors to your life and let the Light in gladly? 

What stops you from surrendering fully to the life-giving Light?