September 10, 2017

Henri Nouwen (1932-1996)


At issue is the question, 'To whom do I belong, to God or to the world?' Many of my daily preoccupations suggest I belong more to the world than to God. A little criticism makes me angry. A little rejection makes me depressed. A little praise raises my spirits, and a little success excites me. It takes very little to raise me up or thrust me down.

Often, I am like a small boat on the ocean, completely at the mercy of the waves. All the time and energy I spend in keeping some kind of balance and preventing myself from being tipped over and drowning shows that my life is mostly a struggle for survival, not a holy struggle but an anxious struggle resulting from the mistaken idea that it is the world that defines me.