Foreword to The Spontaneous You
I don’t know how I came to make writing on these lines the pursuit of my latter years–but it has been. Moving on in earlier years from seeking and finding the answer to my personal problems, it seemed as if my mind awakened to the need of finding and understanding the answer to “the riddle of the universe,” at least in terms of our human participation in it.
I began to ask three questions: What is life? How do we live it? Why do we live it? And I began to find that there is an answer. With the guide lines of the Scriptures, with the insights of some of the great See-ers in history, Jacob Boehme, William Law, Soren Kierkegaard and others (and sometimes also catching beams of light from the more unorthodox), my first attempt at putting what I saw into writing was an unpublished pamphlet which I called The Dark and Light Principle. Perhaps that had more of the fire of first discoveries, though not always in temperate terms. Then followed, nineteen years ago in succeeding years, The Law of Faith, The Liberating Secret, and God Unlimited, all of which are still in circulation. Each has been an attempt at going a little further into sharing with others what have become pearls of great price to me. Some have found The Law of Faith clarifying on the subject of how theory becomes experience, others the key to the released personality in The Liberating Secret. The Deep Things of God has been an attempt to dig into the law of opposites, an understanding of which puts so many of the puzzles of life into focus: Blake’s “Build a heaven in hell’s despair.” To my mind, God Unlimited has been the clearest and most comprehensive of all, and should be, as the whole panorama of God and man comes clearer, like surveying a landscape from a high mountain.
This present book has been written at the suggestion of my old friend, Abraham Vereide, the founder of International Christian Leadership, which sponsors the Presidential Prayer Breakfasts held annually in Washington, and many other like events on state and city levels, with its call to a leadership led by God. (I had the privilege of writing his biography also, entitled Modern Viking).
I seek again in this book to dig down into the foundations and examine the basis of human living, not as a theory but in workable experience. It said in the book of the Acts that Aquila and Priscilla took “a certain Jew named Apollos…and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” I like that. We can leave our the “more perfectly,” but every time I speak with a group or in a public meeting, or talk things over with the hundreds of eager to find the really releasing answer to living free in their private prisons of frustrating circumstances, it is a going over and over again and a further clarifying of this broad, free highway, on which we can drive with confidence, as it were, the automobile of our daily living—and with zest and pleasure, and find the purpose in it not for ourselves but others. That is why I use this title of The Spontaneous You. It is not original. I wrote an article for that living magazine, Christina Life, and my friend the Editor, Robert Walker, gave it this title. So I asked him permission to use it again for this book, which he kindly granted.
The older I get the more I recognize what I owe to God’s priceless gift to me through these forty-five years of my wife, Pauline, the daughter of C.T. Studd to whom I refer in later pages, who in oneness of heart and mind provides the home life which makes writing like this so much easier. I also thank the Publishers Lutterworth Press, who have for the past thirty years never turned down anything I have offered them–and that takes faith and grace! And the Christian Literature Crusade who take on the distribution in the United States.