A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

Eugene Peterson once wrote a book that was so good, I didn’t need to read it to be changed by it.  The title pointed to something so true that it affected the way I think and live.  The book is called, “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.”  I have no idea what the book is about.  It may actually be awful.  It may be worthy of such a lofty title.  But the idea alone has captured my soul.

I put money away every single week for retirement.  It doesn’t seem like much.  But there is this law, the law of compounding interest, and when I chase the rabbit down the trail, if I were to lay down my gloves in 30 years, that money I put away would grow into an amount that I could live on for a long time.  

I am eating right every day.  I get on the scale every day, and the needle is finally going the right way.  It doesn’t jump 20 pounds at a time.  No.  Instead, it moves in fractions.  But those fractions add up.  And strength and health is filing me up.

I come to God every morning as I walk.  And we talk about stuff.  The day that passed. The day that is coming.  The spiritual weight that I am carrying.  And the talks are often not what you might call clever conversation.  No.  They are just everyday chatter.  But the hours and the days add up to familiarity.  To friendship.  To a relationship.  I know how to come and how to speak and how to listen.

In all these things, the small steps over time make a path.  As a man of much drama, I want the all or nothing.  I want the push pull, quick click, all done solution.  But the things in life that matter are not built in a day.  They are built over time.  They require roots.  Depth.  They cost something.  

So… it is a Wednesday.  But this Wednesday is a block in a building being built.  So I take heed.  I walk wisely.... I try too at least.

-ernesto alaniz