This Lenten Season I am reading some meditations from the readings of Henri Nouwen and C.S. Lewis. This one from Henri Nouwen spoke to me…so I share it with you…
“Aren’t you, like me, hoping that some person, thing or event will come along and 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 the 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 burnout. This is the way to spiritual death.”
How often have I approached something new…thinking that this would be the piece, the thing that would make life complete. How often have I filled my life with activity…believing that increased activity was going to “make something happen”. It is a very dangerous way of thinking and living…it is not healthy, and yet much of our world enters each day looking for the “next great thing”. We have bought into the lie that it is in our “doing”, our “accomplishments” that we will find fulfillment.
The reality is that God created human BEINGS…not human DOINGS. What would our lives look and feel like if we learned to be still, listen for the voice of God to speak words of promise, hope, and fulfillment…instead of seeking fulfillment through doing? Imagine if I learned to be content to hear God say, “Well done”…instead of seeking the approval of others as they compared my life with others around me?
Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life to the full” … it begins with finding our deepest fulfillment in, and through Him. I have had to learn, and re-learn this lesson again and again. As I read Henri’s meditation this morning I found myself thinking…”Dan, why are you still wrestling with this…what is wrong with you…how come you find yourself slipping back into old patterns so easy?” I draw comfort from the beginning of Henri’s meditation, “Aren’t you, like me,”… At least two of us have shared this journey…my sense is that there are more.
May God grant us the grace to find our inner well-being and strength in the crucified and risen Christ!