Close Your Eyes…Unless You’re Driving

So in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a real Henri Nouwen kick recently.  The guy is, in the words of my British brother-in-law, spot on.  Eat this portion of “Here and Now” for breakfast, lunch and dinner today:

“I am constantly puzzled by my eagerness to get something done, to see someone, to finish some job, while I am fully aware that within a month or even a week I will have completely forgotten what it was that seemed so urgent.  It seems that I share this restlessness with many others…

“Why is it so difficult to be still and quiet and let God speak to me about the meaning of my life? Is it because I don’t trust God? Is it because I don’t know God? Is it because I wonder if God really is there for me? Is it because I am afraid of God? Is it because everything else is more real for me than God? Is it because, deep down, I do not believe that God cares what happens (on my street corner)?

“Still there is a voice – right there, in downtown Toronto.  “Come to me, you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.  Shouldermy yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light” (Matthew 11:38 – 30)

“Can I trust that voice and follow it? It is not a very loud voice, and often it is drowned out by the clamor of the inner city. Still, when I listen attentively, I will hear that voice again and again and come to recognize it as the voice speaking to the deepest places of my heart.”

Thanks for the reminder Mr. Nouwen.  What’s that?  I can call you Henri? Well thanks.

So wherever you are right now, reader, take a moment and close your eyes and listen.  What do you hear?  No, not the kids commotion in the back ground…not the fan running or the a/c kicking in…not the dishwasher clicking (I don’t know, ours clicks)…not the music on the radio.  Listen.  Is there something, someone, deeper than any subconscious level you can attain trying to tell you something?

That might sound kind of weird to some of you.  If so, that’s cool – feel free to ridicule me in the comments.

Oh, and if you’re reading this on your cell phone, in your car, you can forgo the whole eyes-closed thing.  Seriously. For the rest of us.

4 Replies to “Close Your Eyes…Unless You’re Driving”

  1. The Inner Voice of Love was a life-changing read for me several years ago. Nouwen is one of my favorite authors, hands down. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Shawn, I think “silence” and “solitude” are two spiritual disciplines that are sorely neglected in the age of the smartphone and the “always on” internet. Good reminder.

    1. Totally agree Herb. You have to work very hard to attain solitude these days, but it would be worth it. Are many people scared of being completely alone for a time period?

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