My Conversation with the Prince

The Prince of Discipleship that is.  (The King would be Jesus, of course.)  His name is John Tolson and he has been discipling men since the 1980’s.  I spoke with him on Monday thanks to an introduction by a friend.  My friend knows that I want to invest my life discipling men in Colorado: Going on a life-on-life journey to help them understand God… and let that awareness and power inform every dimension of their lives. It’s the pathway to freedom, joy and finding our role in bringing heaven to earth.

For the record, in addition to dedicating his life to discipleship, John is also an author, teacher, and has been the chaplain for the Houston Rockets, Houston Astros, Houston Oilers, Orlando Magic and Dallas Cowboys.

One question I asked John was: What are the two biggest obstacles people run into as they move into spiritual maturity and freedom?

He said, “That’s easy: They don’t love themselves and they don’t know how to engage in the spiritual disciplines.”

I was shocked at the speed and simplicity of his answer, but not really surprised by the answer itself.

In The Joy Model, I stress how important it is to start our journey to joy by asking two questions: “Who is God?” and “Who am I?”  If you get these two right, you’ll love yourself.

How do you get those two right?  Do what John says: Engage in the spiritual disciplines.  (I talk about these in Chapter 6: Abide.) John says people have over-complicated the disciplines.  They need someone to teach them about prayer, studying the bible, worship, silence, solitude, journaling, fasting, and service.  Then they need someone to coach, encourage and correct them over time as they engage in a trial-and-error adventure of a life time.

Rarely does God just wow us out of the blue with some amazing epiphany.  We need to manage our schedules, environments and minds to let God reveal the secrets of living the abundant life. If you’re stuck, find someone to disciple you.

Jeff SpadaforaComment