thoughts on Nouwen

30 05 2008

i’ve recently had this longing to pull out a book that i read a couple of years ago and found to be exceptional. it’s called In The Name Of Jesus by Henri Nouwen. generally i’m pretty wary of the stuff that a Catholic priest has written, i’m not going to knock his stuff when it is some of the best i have ever read.

you know when you read someone and you are struck by the simplicity yet amazing nature of what he has to say? Nouwen fits the bill perfectly.

so i had this thought, how about i take one of his quotes, once a day until i run through what stuck out in the book, and think about it and mull it over. i can’t be any worse off for it and it’ll be a great exercise in learning to see what i might get out of this. so for the next however many days i’m going to reflect on one quote of Nouwen and see where it takes me, and if you’re reading this too, see where it takes you as well.

how about i start with something from the prologue.

God is a God of the present and reveals to those who are willing to listen carefully to the moment in which they live the steps they are to take toward the future

we often find ourselves seeking out the will of God, or the perfect plan that God has for us without really considering what’s going on around us. how much do we get stuck in the future and the past thinking that God’s will is trapped in something we have done or will do, not in what we are doing? something tells me that we might want to practice looking for God in the moment and where we’re at, not just where we’re going. maybe if we want to know what we should be doing with life, who we should marry, where we should live, etc, we should stop and slow down our lives just enough to hear the voice of God calling out to us while we live our lives away.

now that’s what i call a man with the power of simplicity and profoundness.

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burdened

27 01 2008

recently this burden on my heart has been growing, mostly for the last few weeks. i feel like i’m being called by the Father to go out and be a bigger part of this world and to invest in the people of it.

to give a slight recap on what has brought me here. i spent yesterday talking with the wonderful Joel in downtown Galt and was constantly struck with what it means to live in community and as a part of society. i saw people that i would normally write off, experiences that i feel would normally be outside of me instead sparking a strong sense of passion inside me to go out and make some sort of a difference. it reminded me of the bubble that i live in and how desensitized i really am. then at church this morning, Ian preached about the church and how we’ve pretty much messed it up over time. asking the question of how we got to where we are there was some sort of a pull back to what the first century church really had as oikos. these both built upon some prior feelings of what am i doing in this specific setting at school and trying to learn from books and such.

i want to have a greater purpose and feeling that i am making a difference than what i have right now in a my atmosphere of head-knowledge and no practical life. how am i really going out and changing this world and making a difference. i sit around reading my books and going to services and such and nothing really does it, nothing really brings any sort of justification to my life. i want to know that i’m serving and dealing with a greater meaning and direction beyond what is right now.

maybe the best thing for me is to just try to get through these last few months and then figure things out, but i just can’t get my mind off the people that are out there and need to see and feel love. these three months are a time that i can either focus in on studies that might aid me slightly, or months that i can take and build a difference in a community with. and this is what being at bible college and studying Your Word has brought me to. school can only bring me so far with this, and He’s obviously started to answer my cries¬† and has given me that burden. now if only i could find out how i’m supposed to go out and live a burdened life when i’m surrounded by books and classes that only bring me apathy and sorrow for a hurting people. how, oh how Father?

make me Your servant, ready to do Your will in the midst of the trials and such that i am facing.  bring me to a point of understanding and faith in Your will for me. bring me to Your feet Lord, humble me continually.