I just finished reading my second Henri J.M. Nouwen work – this one titled Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World (truly one of the most encouraging books of all time – probably due to the timing behind the read).
My favorite quote was when the author suggested, “Aren’t you, like me, hoping that some person, thing, or event will come along to give you that final feeling of inner well-being you desire? Don’t you often hope: ‘May this book, idea, course, trip, job, country or relationship fulfill my deepest desire.’ But as long as you are waiting for that mysterious moment you will go on running helter-skelter, always anxious and restless, always lustful and angry, never fully satisfied. You know that this is the compulsiveness that keeps us going and busy, but at the same time makes us wonder whether we are getting anywhere in the long run. This is the way to spiritual exhaustion and burn-out. This is the way to spiritual death.”
Nouwen goes on to suggest that “We are God’s chosen ones, even when our world does not choose us” (59). So how do we get in touch with our selection when are surrounded by rejection?
- Keep unmasking the world about you for what it is: manipulative, controlling, power-hungry, and, in the long run, destructive.
- Keep looking for people and places where [God’s] truth is spoken and where you are reminded of your deeper identity [in Christ].
- Celebrate your [relationship with the Heavenly Father] constantly (this means say “thank you”).