The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting faith in a mobile Culture - Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
“Someone asked Abba Anthony, ‘What must one do in order to please God?” The old man replied, ‘Pay attention to what I tell you: whoever you may be, always have God before your eyes; whatever you do, do it according to the testimony of the holy Scriptures; in whatever place you live, do not easily leave it. Keep these three precepts and you will be saved.” - Abba Anthony
The week of July 31- August 6th, I had the opportunity to attend the Central Leadership Bible Institute (CBLI). While I was there I got the chance to learn from different speakers and hear what they had to say about faith. I also had the opportunity to catch up on some reading that I had been neglecting. One of the books that I read was Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture. This book gives readers the opportunity to rediscover what it looks like to have stability in the culture we live in today. Hartgrove-Wilson writes, “we are able to best discern the call of God in the company of friends where we are rooted in the life-giving wisdom of stability.” (5). I read this book as a 22-year-old who’s been told for the last four years that the best way to discover who I really am is to travel the world and learn about other people. But that’s the opposite of what Hartgrove-Wilson wants readers to understand in this book. According to him, we best learn about ourselves if we stay put and not only get to know the people we live with, but to allow those people to get to know us. That’s part of what we are trying to do here in Benton Park West. As the Urban Mission Center grows, we are listening and learning with our neighbors so that we can become something that actually helps the community. We appreciate stability because it offers the chance for us to slow down and learn to appreciate the simple rhythms of life. Instead of rushing around to the next bright and shiny opportunity, we experience our biggest joys in sharing life with each other. It’s not always easy, but if we want to become a community that truly knows how to love and forgive one another, we have to do it.
I chose this book for August because I know from experience that it’s a time of instability for a lot of people. School is starting up again and people are moving to new places because of it. I hope that you’ll find comfort in the wisdom that is found here and as you live within your place, I hope that you’ll not easily leave it.
You can check out Hartgrove-Wilson’s book here.