Wednesday, August 01, 2012
The Paradox of Choice and my challenge with consistency
I have a book on my shelf that I have skimmed but have not completely read. The name of that book is "The Paradox of Choice". The idea of the book is that a few choices gives us a healthy sense of self-determinism and control of our lives, but that in America today, in our age of affluence, we have too many choices, and the number of choices and the amount of options we face make life more difficult for us instead of easier.
In my never ending quest (often met with failure but sometimes met with success) to get a little more disciplined, I have made some steps to become more regular in my "devotional practices". I have requested our worship leader in our contemporary service to keep me more accountable in having a daily devotional time, and I have also begun to explore my resources for personal prayer/study. What I am discovering is that I may have an embarrassment of riches in this regard, and that may be part of why I tend to justify substituting sermon prep and bible study prep in exchange for devotional time.
I recently brought several of my devotionals up from my downstairs library. They include:
When You Pray and Guide to Prayer for Pastors and Teachers by Reuben Job
The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle
Seeking God's Face by Phillip F. Rienders
Experiencing God's Presence by Chris Tiegreen
Operation World by Jason Mandyk
Ancient Christian Devotional ed. by Cindy Crosby
Minister's Prayer Book ed by John Doberstein
Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2012 by the Irish Jesuits
Common Prayer by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Hargrove-Wilson, and Enuma Okoru
Right now, part of me thinks having too many devotional resources is not healthy. The other part of me thinks having access to a number of different resources in a number of different places helps me to take some time to have devotional discipline. Either way, there is a sense that I do not experience the holistic education that each individual wants to teach.
What do you think? Is this situation a help or a problem? How would it work for you? What works best for you in your devotional life?