Today we are using the writings of Henry Nouwen. I really appreciated this excerpt from the introduction of Dare to Journey:
Things stand in tension with each other, and things do not always work out in anticipated ways. Good sometimes has unfortunate consequences, and out of tragedy blessings can emerge. Thus the spiritual journey does not consist of neat stages. Seldom do we move smoothly from "darkness" to enlightenment" and live happily ever after in the later state.
Blend your previous thoughts in with any new thoughts. Now, allow this next reflection from Henri to ripple through out them all. I pray that you will allow the power of God's holy spirit to heighten your vision, clarify your discernment and culminate in His understanding and wisdom in regard to your past, present and future:
Psalms 46:10 "Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Taking Time for Inner Renewal
In many ways the busy round of life draws us into a myriad of activities, all important, but all demanding more of our time and energy. Even church activities jostle for our attention and commitment. And creative acts of service require long-term support and care often demand more than we are able to give.
So we try to do more while our energies ebb away and we become like uprooted trees with our roots wildly groping for the sky. Thus we anxiously throw our arms toward heaven, praying for extra grace and special enabling, when instead we should be planted again in nourishing soil. That soil is not meant to make us do less, but to change our priorities so that we take time to be still. And in the stillness, find new strength and hope.
Henri Nouwen reminds us that "time given to inner renewal is never wanted." In fact it is the fuel for the journey, and more importantly, it is the discipline that will shape the very fabric of our being.
©2000 by Charles Ringma, All Rights Reserved