Our friendships not only define us, but develop and energize us. I have found a new, profitable companion—Francois Fenelon, the French mystic of three hundred years ago. He and Oswald Chambers are my daily counsel. They differ in that Oswald Chambers was a teacher expounding principles to a group with each person applying it to himself or herself, while Fenelon was a mentor to an individual and focused on specific situations.
For 41 years I have read Chambers's My Utmost for His Highest. I discovered Fenelon's The Seeking Heart a short five years ago. After just a few pages, I was hooked. Fenelon was a contemporary and friend of Jeanne Guyon, and both suffered for their faith—she in prison for ten years and he exiled to oblivion after rising to one of the highest offices in the French court.
Here are some themes of Fenelon's that have been most helpful to me. With our lives rooted in these immutable principles, we can be like the willow tree, with branches and leaves ...1