In his book, Soul Keeping, pastor John Ortberg describes his first conversation with Dallas Willard, who would eventually become his spiritual mentor. In this early conversation, Willard begins to re-route Ortberg’s life direction, helping him see that more important than anything else is who you are in Christ:
“The most important thing in your life,” Dallas said, “is not what you do; it’s who you become. That’s what you will take into eternity. You are an unceasing spiritual being with an eternal destiny in God’s great universe.” Huh? “You are an unceasing spiritual being with an eternal destiny in God’s great universe. That’s the most important thing for you to know about you. You should write that down. You should repeat it regularly.
Brother John, you think you have to be someplace else or accomplish something more to find peace. But it’s right here. God has yet to bless anyone except where they actually are. Your soul is not just something that lives on after your body dies. It’s the most important thing about you. It is your life.” Long pause.
When I thought about how my life was going, I always thought about my outer world. It is the world of reputation and appearance. It consists of how much I have and of what people think. It is visible and obvious. In my outer world, it is easy to keep score.
I always thought that improving the circumstances of my outer world is what makes me feel happy inside. But this was an invitation to another world — what Gordon MacDonald would call a “private world.” It is unseen, unknown, hidden. It would garner no applause. It could be chaotic and dark and disordered, and no one might know.
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