What a trellis is to a vine, a rule of life is to abiding. It’s a structure—in this case, a schedule and a set of practices—to set up abiding as the central pursuit of your life. It’s a way to organize all of your life around the practice of the presence of God, to work and rest and play and eat and drink and hang out with your friends and run errands and catch up on the news, all out of a place of deep, loving enjoyment of the Father’s company. If a vine doesn’t have a trellis, it will die. And if your life with Jesus doesn’t have some kind of structure to facilitate health and growth, it will wither away. Following Jesus has to make it onto your schedule and into your practices or it will simply never happen. Apprenticeship to Jesus will remain an idea, not a reality in your life.
Before the heart unlocks itself for the world, God wants to open it for himself; before the ear takes in the countless voices of the day, it should hear in the early hours the voice of the Creator and Redeemer. God prepared the stillness of the first morning for himself. It should remain his.
For however devoted you are to Him, you may be sure that He is immeasurably more devoted to you and has incomparably more faith in you. For He is faithfulness itself – of this we can be certain as those who love Him are certain.
When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now.