We have enjoyed getting to know Dennis Okholm. He is the author of Monk Habits for Everyday People. Dennis is a theology professor and often leads communion at our church. Here is a great excerpt from his book:
“[quoting Michael Casey] The purpose of the relentless sameness of the monastic round is to create a climate in which hidden aspects of the personality become manifest. External monotony is an invitation to inner change, whereas novelty and constant variety short-circuit the process of going deeper.’
We will discover our true selves as we patiently simmer in communities and relationships to which God has called us. And we will find God there as well, because if we cannot find God where we are, we will not find him elsewhere. Except for those extreme or abusive cases, if you haven’t seen God in your marriage, in your present employment, in your neighborhood, or in your church fellowship, then chances are you won’t see God in your next marriage, job, neighborhood, or church.” (p. 96-97.)
- What is your hunger level for variety?
- In what ways is this a reflection of God’s great creativity and “new every morning”-ness?
- In what ways might it be a way of escaping the rhythms, rituals and habits that might be a place of maturing for you?
- To what degree are you tempted to leave a place you’ve been for a while?
- How much “the grass is greener over there” is moving you?
- In what ways might God be inviting you to stay put rather than start over?