“… if we are to bear much fruit-if that is the goal of the Christian life-then the best model for spiritual maturity is seasons. Fruit grows in seasons, and all seasons are necessary for growing it. And seasons are as much as about what is not happening as what is. It has much to do with inactivity as with activity, waiting as with working, barrenness as with abundance, dormancy, as with vitality. For everything there is a season.” So says Mark Buchanan in the introduction to a very helpful and fresh perspective on Christian discipleship, Spiritual Rhythm: Being With Jesus Every Season of Your Soul.
Published by Zondervan, Spiritual Rhythm is Buchanan’s both personal and pastoral journey through the seasons of the soul: winter in which absence of God and friends is admitted to being a reality; spring in which cleaning, plowing, and planting are key tasks of both the Spirit and one’s self in order to become more mature in the faith; Summer is a time to have ‘no worries’ nor be hurried but being fruitful; and finally fall when a harvest of souls, righteousness, and prosperity (of the character and faith kind) takes place.
A perspective Buchanan brings to the table that I believe is counter to the current Christian mindset is one of rhythm verses balance. He makes a very interesting case for rhythm within the context of seasons when he says “I seek balance when I stand up in a kayak. Staying in the boat depends on it. But I seek rhythm when I paddle the kayak. Getting anywhere depends on it.”
Along with sketching the contours of each of the seasons of the soul (not chronological age) Buchanan also makes clear some important and unique ‘activities’ that must be part of navigating each unique season as well as the important disciplines of scripture reading, prayer, and obedience.
There have been 12 books that have formed a core library for me over the years. This book is going to replace one of them in that library of 12. It is essential and necessary for a 21st century faith that recognizes the rhythm of the seasons of the soul.
(Note: I received a free copy of this book via the Amazon Vine review program. I was not required to write a positive review.)