This morning I began reading Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life by Henri J.M. Nouwen. The book is comprised of three short essays. I want to share some thoughts from the first essay.
"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."
The last quote by Nouwen blows me away. This speaks of the importance of motives. Am I aggresively pushing and pursuing because of the passion that burns inside of me or am I doing what I'm doing to try and please someone else or "look good" to others? If it is the latter, than I am a prisoner. I am bound by the chains of human judgements and have sadly and effectively become "of" the world - not just "in" it.
"When we have sold our identity to the judges of this world, we are bound to become restless, because of a growing need for affirmation and praise. Indeed, we are tempted to become low-hearted because of constant self-rejection. And we are in serious danger of becoming isolated, since friendship and love are impossible without a mutual vulnerability."
"...when our actions have become more an expression of fear than of inner freedom, we easily become the prisoners of our self-created illusions."
Wednesday, April 14