I’ve gone through seasons of spiritual numbness and wondered, “What’s going on here? Am I missing something?” What does Haase’s book have to say about nurturing the spiritual life? What is the “end-goal” of spiritual life for Haase and how does he say a person journeys in that direction?
*Catching Fire, Becoming Flame* is a helpful, accessible book that addresses the question of how to intentionally lay down your life for spiritual renovation. His chapters are short, the end of chapter questions go right to the heart.
The “problem” Haase address is the lack of awareness of how to engage life with God. Often we hear about forgiveness and the possibility of life with God, but we’re often left wondering how to step into it. Haase’s book is a collection of steps that one could take to practice paying attention to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit does renovation work on our souls (in the Spirit’s own good time).
The book progresses in an increasing path of attentiveness and intentionality. It starts with a basic invitation into life with God – the kind of life you work to pay attention to in order to pour into the relationship. Toward the end, the practices and questions Haase writes are along the level of a very deep relationship. I compare this to how a couple who has been married for 30 years might talk and share life as compared to kids on their third date.
The most impactful phrase I felt Haase offered was, “Without a sense of mission, godly enthusiasm fizzles into bogus piety.” (p.7) The goal, I appreciated, is to get caught up in life with God through the imitation of Christ. Instead of a “make me feel excited about my personal relationship with Jesus,” Haase directs the soul toward mission, toward being “little Christ’s” for the world around us – always assured of God’s presence and love.
*Catching Fire, Becoming Flame,* is an excellent book for small groups, spiritual friendships, and even personal prayer and journaling. Haase provides a lot to think about and appreciate. It’s also the kind of book you don’t pick up and anticipate putting fully into practice all at once; it’s more of a handbook of available ideas to enter into when needed and desired.