Thursday, March 8, 2012

What I Want

My daily Lent reading from Henri Nouwen nailed it this morning when it comes to describing what I want (and don't want) for my life. Here are a few sentences that jumped out at me:

"When we start being too impressed by the results of our work, we slowly come to the erroneous conviction that life is one large scoreboard where someone is listing the points to measure our worth. And before we are fully aware of it, we have sold our soul to the many grade-givers."

"A life without a lonely place, that is, a life without a quiet center, easily becomes destructive. When we cling to the results of our actions as our only way of self-identification, then we become possessive and defensive and tend to look at our fellow human beings as enemies to be kept at a distance instead of friends with whom we can share the gifts of life."

"In solitude, we can slowly discover in the center of our own self that we are not what we can conquer, but what is given to us."

"In solitude we become aware that our worth is not the same as our usefulness."

And Nouwen concludes with this prayer from the Psalm 139:

Yahweh, you examine me and know me,
you know when I sit and when I rise,
you understand my thoughts from afar.
You watch when I walk or lie down,
you know every detail of my conduct.

God, examine me and know my heart,
test me and know my concerns.
Make sure I am not on my way to ruin,
and guide me on the road of eternity.

1 comment:

Christina said...

Saw this first line you quoted, and just had to say how true it is. Too many times in life we think like this. And it's also true for not-so-positive score keeping: We think someone is keeping a running tally on our failures and mistakes. Hope to read more from your blog soon! :)