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  • Writer's pictureBrock Bondurant


By Brock Bondurant

Genesis 1:31 – God saw everything he had made, and indeed, it was very good.

Enjoy. That’s it. One word; profound implications.

It is the word God speaks over humanity like a waiter at a restaurant delivering your food: “Enjoy, for it is very good.” It is the chief end of man after all (according to the catechism), to enjoy God forever – the aim of the spiritual life.

Glorifying and enjoying God – being in union with him – fulfills our purpose of creation.

While transformation into the image of Christ is our goal and a rhythm of life (the way we live) the process, our focus of attention should always be union with God.

enjoy the sun

Yet I’ve so often focused on my growth rather than God’s goodness.

I learned a great reality of self when a teacher of mine described the purpose of spending time with God (via centering prayer, silence & solitude, a morning “quiet time,” etc.) is just that… time spent with God. When did it become about something else for me? My main goal in practices like silence and solitude should simply be to waste time with God.

Yet, I had come to make it about my experience, analyzing rather than appreciating – evaluating rather than enjoying my time with God.

And that’s it: I was not living in the fullness of joy of life with Jesus in the Spirit. Following an appointment with my spiritual director, of which the word ‘enjoy’ was the thesis for our time, I looked back on the last couple of years, realizing three ways that I was approaching my rule of life (my way of living) all wrong. I was living in a different season than the one I am currently in, I was trying to live out a rhythm of life not unique to my personality, and I had a misunderstanding of the nature of rhythm. This reflection has illumined much of my spiritual journey, and therefore I need to go back to move forward into joy.

My first introduction to the world of Christ-centered spiritual formation was a sermon I heard in college by Matt Chandler talking about a ‘rule of life.’ I was enamored with the concept, myself being athletically minded, used to a lifestyle of training. Since then, I’ve desired to structure my life in a way to grow into Christlikeness and live in the easy yoke of Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30). This has worked better at certain times than others. I specifically think back to a season where I was first immersed in my newfound discipline of spiritual formation (read: being formed into Christlikeness – 2 Corinthians 3:18) through the likes of pastors John Mark Comer and Darren Rouanzoin – a concept they called, ‘Practicing the Way of Jesus.’ Looking back with my rose-colored lenses, that season was full of formative growth.

Therefore, over the past couple of years I’ve often tried to employ the spiritual practices and rhythms of that season into my current life. I found myself frustrated when I didn’t experience the same tangible growth. After hearing a lecture on the Ascension of Christ, I finally understood what was wrong. I needed to let go of that season, grieve its death, and receive this season of life with open arms of gratitude. In that prior season of life, I was a single man, living alone in 2020 when all social life was cancelled. Of course, I had time on my hands and ability to think of only myself in that season! Now, blessed to be a husband and father, I can no longer live like a single man living alone. (I had better not be living like a single man living alone!) I need to let that past season die and receive the spirit for this season that includes being a joyous husband and father. To be disciples of Christ in our present moment we must, in the words of one author, “decide to die to whatever program we had running before.”

I first discovered the idea of spiritual formation and a love for spiritual disciplines by reading John Ortberg’s ‘The Life You’ve Always Wanted’ and listening weekly to a multi-year sermon series by John Mark Comer on ‘Practicing the Way of Jesus,’ a series that was finished just recently by his successor, Tyler Staton. I would even hear of some of the ways the ‘greats’ of the faith lived the way of Jesus. I would learn about a new spiritual discipline through these means and put it into practice. I formed a rule of life in this way, and while fruit was born initially, something felt off.

I have come to realize that I was effectively living out someone else’s spirituality. I practiced intentionally, but I now have language to understand that it’s hard to enjoy what isn’t tailored for my unique way of connecting with God. Through the teaching of my friend Emily P. Freeman, I found what was missing: an understanding and practical living out of my personal core values. Emily says that core values are “vital and timeless principles that help you stay true to who you are; they are what matters most.” I need to order my life based on how I’m uniquely wired by God in his image to enjoy him. These core values, far from the self-help variety of the corporate world, must be lived out through vital behaviors – actions that embody what matters most to us. These actions may be lived out in ‘spiritual disciplines.’ Philosopher Dallas Willard says that these disciplines are “a matter of taking appropriate measures [to access God’s grace].” It never dawned on me until recently that these measures to be undertaken are for my joy. God has created me to enjoy him, and if I am going to enjoy God and the life, he’s given me then I need to live in a way that expresses the uniqueness for which I am intrinsically wired. Freeman says that “Christ wants to express himself using the unique filter that is your personality.”

With these truths in mind, changing seasons and my unique personal wiring, I could now understand the anatomy of rhythm. My seminary professor (who doubles as a DJ on the weekends) describes life in the Spirit to be a dancefloor: the Father is the DJ, Jesus is the best dancer, the Spirit is the energy, the Church (Greek: Ecclesia) are your partners ‘called-out’ to the dancefloor alongside you, and a rule of life is your repertoire of dance moves. Changing seasons are like changing songs, and the lyrics may influence which dance moves you go with at a given time. And that’s what I’m learning right now. God’s purpose in our transformation is that we become capable of enjoying him fully, and the way to that end is also the means. Considering my current season and my unique wiring for union with God, I can put together a collection of dance moves that I enjoy that help me begin to move like Jesus. Constructing a rule of life is vital to intentionally being formed into the image of Christ for the sake of others. It is our rule of life, our rhythm, that helps us continue dancing even when we are ‘not hearing the music right now.’ A rhythm is “synchronized diversity,” in the words of my professor, and it is the way in which we dance toward union with the mix of our DJ.

Long captivated by the idea of a rule of life, I now have the understanding to build one for myself that fits. The grace of the easy yoke of Jesus is that it’s always a perfect fit. When I try to put on a yoke that’s not mine or try one on from my younger days, the divine work that God has created me to do becomes toilsome; I fail to enjoy him. I’m learning that my enjoyment, far from a lack of suffering, is bigger than a self-centered wish for happiness. Others are in fact on the dancefloor and my formation is for their sake. My joy is vital to my leadership. My wife deserves a husband, and my daughter deserves a father, who is permeated by joy.

Those I care for throughout the week who are searching for their own joy can only be led by someone who knows Joy’s source by experience. As we ourselves as leaders, spouses, children, coworkers, employees experience the joy-filled life that the God of the Universe desires for us, we can extend the joy of the dancefloor to others. Union with God, everlasting joy, is both end and means of the spiritual life. God desires your joy in life as he enjoys you.

Enjoy this life then, for it is very good.


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