Sunday, April 07, 2019

Be a Thermostat, Not a Thermometer

Boat, on Lake Michigan

Be a thermostat, not a thermometer.

A thermometer reacts to the environment, going up and down as a response to external conditions.

A thermostat sets the temperature and influences the environment. The environment responds, going up and down as a response to internal conditions.

Thomas Merton saw many persons as thermometers, living as automatons, "no longer moved from within, but only from outside themselves. They no longer make decisions for themselves, but let them be made for them." (Through the Year with Thomas Merton, p. 108)

Merton continues,

"Such a man no longer acts upon the outside world, but lets it act on him. He is propelled through life by a series of collisions with outside forces. His is no longer the life of a human being, but the existence of a sentient billiard ball, a being without purpose and without any deeply valid response to reality." (Ib., p. 109)

Such a person is shaped into the form of this world (Romans 12:1-2), rather than being inwardly transformed and influencing culture.

My two books are:

Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

Leading the Presence-Driven Church 

I am currently writing:

Encounters with the Holy Spirit (editing, should be out in June)

How God Changes the Human Heart

Technology and Spiritual Formation

After that, God willing, Linda and I will write our book on Relationships.