Sunday, April 19, 2015

Laubach's "Game of Minutes"

Awhile back, I picked up an attractive version of a mini-book with excerpts of work by Frank Laubach. Perhaps I had heard of him prior, but Dallas Willard was a big fan and wrote/talked about him intermittently on Laubach's efforts to live out the Spirit-filled life.

This version has two parts. The first three-quarters are excerpts from Laubach's letters to his father on this topic. The last quarter is Laubach's tract, entitled "The Game with Minutes". (I'd recommend reading the latter first; it should make the first part more understandable.) 

"Christ has not saved the world from its present terrifying dilemma. The reason is obvious: few people are getting enough of Christ to save either themselves or the world. Take the United States, for example. Only a third of the population belongs to a Christian church. Less than half of this third attend service regularly. Preachers speak about Christ in perhaps one service in four—thirty minutes a month! Good sermons, many of them excellent, but too infrequent in presenting Christ. Less than ten minutes a week given to thinking about Christ by one-sixth of the people is not saving our country or our world; for selfishness, greed, and hate are getting a thousand times that much thought. What a nation thinks about, that it is. We shall not become like Christ until we give Him more time..." (87-88)

How to do this? A study hour and "we make him our inseparable chum" by "calling Him to mind at least one second of each minute". (89) Laubach observes that "While these two practices take all our time, yet they do not take it away from any good enterprise." (89)

More specifically, Laubach observes that "Experience has told us that good resolutions are not enough. We need to discipline our lives to an ordered regime. The ‘Game with Minutes’ is a rather lighthearted name for such a regime in the realm of the spirit...a new name for something as old as Enoch, who ‘walked with God.’...We call this a ‘game’ because it is a delightful experience and an exhilarating spiritual exercise; but we soon discover that it is far more than a game. Perhaps a better name for it would be ‘an exploratory expedition’...

Practices that would help (98): have a picture of Christ in your field of view; place an empty chair in settings to remind you that he is present; hum a favorite hymn; pray silently for those around you; and whisper inside asking God to put his thoughts in your mind and his words in your mouth.

Some other good quotes: 
-Laubach (97) also recommends that we learn to "see double", as Christ does-- we see the person as he is and the person Christ longs to make him."

-"One cannot worship God and Mammon for the reason that God slips out and is gone as soon as we try to seat some other unworthy affection besides Him...Not because God is a jealous God but because sincerity and insincerity are contradictions." (26)
-"...pray inwardly for everybody one meets...grows easier as the habit becomes fixed. Yet it transforms life into heaven. Everybody takes on a new richness and all the world seems tinted with glory." (75)
-He divides people into how they would answer these three questions "Do you believe in God?", "Are you acquainted with God?", and "Is God your friend?". (77)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home