This weekend I took some time to listen to Shane Blackshear’s interview with Richard Foster.
I don’t know blogger and podcast host Shane Blackshear personally, but like him and many others, I too have learned a lot from Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline and Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, and highly recommend these and his other writings.
The first few minutes of the recording are devoted to introduction, but just be patient as the interview gets underway and gets better as it unfolds.
Some of my favourite parts come after the 20-minute mark. Like Foster’s advice on developing spiritual discipline: “don’t be heroic about it” but simply “pray as you can.” Instead of trying to do too much and getting “spiritual indigestion,” know the “cosmic patience of God.”
He also explains why he has chosen not to engage with most of social media:
Our biggest problem is distraction. People don’t quite understand that, but it’s the spiritual problem. And when we send out 150 tweets every hour and a half just to fill our own ego . . . why in the world do people want to know what I eat for breakfast? It doesn’t help them, and the way I can help is just to disappear. You see, the early Christians valued anonymity. How many value that today?
Shane Blackshear: “Well, we all want to be famous you know.”
< laughter >
Richard Foster: And that’s one of the things we have to kill, we just have to destroy in our lives. Think of this wonderful book–The Cloud of Unknowing–that has been so instrumental all through the centuries. We don’t even know the author. And that was intentional. . . . The author made a point . . . he intentionally hid it from folks. Wow, think of an author doing that!
There’s a lot more to think about in this interview. Thank you, Shane Blackshear, for sharing this “bucket interview,” and thank you, Richard Foster, for turning me and many to Jesus.
Listen to the whole interview yourself here.