The Nouwen Challenge, pt. 2

“But it is actually best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Counselor won’t come… When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me.”  (John 16:7, 13-14)

Well, I gave it a shot today. I closed the door for 10 minutes, sat in the quiet and tried to see if God has anything to say. After a few minutes of pretty much nada, I started to get the sense that, at least for tonight, sitting quietly with God was the point. I’ll admit that sometimes it’s difficult figuring out the difference between God speaking through my conscience and my mind just wandering about, but I was clearly reminded that for many years my prayer life consisted of a dialogue, an ongoing conversation with God about the tapestry of daily events, instead of just lobbing up predictable requests (which he graciously fulfills).

There’s clearly a parallel here with what’s happening at work. In years past, I had a small group of coworkers with whom I spent a ton of time. We talked work, talked life, took coffee breaks together, and sometimes went out for a beer (after work, usually). Today I work with a great team of five others that I rarely see.  We call into team updates, use file sharing tools to swap documents, and most of all, use our Blackberrys to have quick chats or shoot off five-line e-mails. Perhaps my work lifestyle has overrun my work life. Is it possible that I’ve begun a Blackberry prayer life, shooting off quick businesslike requests without ever enjoying the presence of our omnipresent Creator? It’s time to reverse this trend.

Not a bad start for day one. In fact, when I glanced at the clock, thirteen minutes had gone by. More later. 

One Response

  1. I think that learning to quiet ourselves in God’s presence takes practice. Quiet is not a very big part of our culture. We have to train ourselves to listen. That’s why this is a good challenge. I will try again also.

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