Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Change of Mind, Body, Soul

I speak often about my journey, the road to a better life, perseverance through speed bumps and road blocks to find my true self.  It may all sound like such cliches at times.  I know it does to me.  Sometimes I think, "Can I not come up with anything better, something more original, perhaps?"  But then I think to the Bible and how it is filled with metaphors, overflowing with passages that direct us to a better life, that lead us to walk the path as a believer.

One of the many reasons I enjoy reading Henri Nouwen is that he can so perfectly put into words the answers to my questions of why and how and when.  The words of the Bible, the abstract ideas of grace and suffering and love--he brings those ideas to life.  Nouwen is an instrument of God that He uses to spread His word and lead others to Him, and Nouwen has, without a doubt, helped me understand my purpose today and God's plans for me.  I can't tell you the particulars of this plan, because it is God's plan, but I do know what his plan will bring to my life:  love, acceptance, forgiveness, peace, expectation, patience, gratitude, generosity, understanding, community.  How will I experience all of these things, in my life?  I feel so far from everything that is good and lasting.  It seems impossible. 

Another thing I have come to realize through my Nouwen reading is that we try to put God in a box defined by human limitations and boundaries.  God doesn't work in human ways and in human time.  He is God!  He can do anything and everything, and He will!  If this isn't a reason to let go of my past, to let go of my misgivings and fear and pain, to let go of everything...then I am unsure I will ever experience life in the way God intended, the way God created just for me.
But when, God?  I'm not asking for much, just the energy to shower regularly and smile and be certain about just one thing in my life.  I suppose this is the box that Nouwen wrote about.  I am asking God for what I want and not what he wants to give me.  Now, I'm almost positive God wants me to shower every day, but all that other stuff that I think I need in order to be [happy, peaceful, better] -- well, maybe I'm not getting to the place I need to be, the place that is closer to God and the wonderful things he wants for my life because I am trying to get there by my own way, on my own terms, with the things I want.

There are some big decisions and choices that I need to make if my journey is to truly be alongside God.  And I'm scared.  I'm scared to make those changes.  I don't feel I have the strength or the know-how.  I don't feel I have the courage or the self-respect to stick to those changes.  Is my life really that bad as it is that I must uproot so many of the details that have become so ingrained inside of me?

Yes, yes it is. 

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