Many weeks ago ( #21, #22, and #23 ) I mentioned what Dallas Willard calls the spiritual disciples of abstinence and engagement. He sees both as necessary for the Christian life and likens it to “outbreathing” and “inbreathing.” I wonder if others might think of them as the “journey inward” and the “journey outward.” Or even as we sometimes contrast Lent and Easter. In his list of disciplines of abstinence Willard includes solitude, silence, fasting, frugality, chastity, secrecy, sacrifice, and watching; while in his list of disciplines of engagement he includes study, worship, celebration, service, prayer, fellowship, confession, and submission.
Fasting and sacrifice are certainly associated with Lent but so are study and service. Celebration and worship are associated with Easter but what of watching? Perhaps in this Easter season we could look over Willard’s two lists and do a self-check and consider if one or more of these needs our attention in the weeks to come.