Saturday, May 10, 2008

You have an idea - Henry J M Nouwen

This is one of the passages we used while reflecting on our 3 month experience. The reflection invites us to come down from the mountain much like Jesus did to the three who witnessed the Transfiguration. I am sure some among us, like Peter, wanted to pitch our tent there... but we constantly need to risk a few more steps into the new country. Its the only way we can 'Dare to be Disciple.'

"You have an idea
of what the new country looks like.
Still, you are very much at home,
although not truly at peace, in the old country.
You know the ways of the old country,
its joys and pains, its happy and sad moments.
You have spent most of your days there
even though you know
that you have not found there
what your heart most desires,
you remain quite attached to it.
It has become part of your very bones.

Now you have come to realise
that you must leave it and enter the new country,
where your Beloved dwells.
You know that what helped and guided you
in the old country no longer works,
but what else do you have to go by?
You are being asked to trust
that you will find what you need in the new country.
That requires the death of what has become so precious to you:
influence, success, yes, even affection and praise.

Trust is so hard,
since you have nothing to fall back on.
Still, trust is what is essential.
The new country is where you are called to go,
and the only way to go there is naked and vulnerable.

It seems that you keep crossing and recrossing the border.
For a while you experience a real joy in the new country.
But then you feel afraid and start longing again
for all you left behind, so you go back to the old country.

To your dismay,
you discover that the old country has lost its charm.
Risk a few more steps into the new country,
trusting that each time you enter it,
you will feel more comfortable
and be able to stay longer."

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