Sunday, November 4, 2007

Nouwen -- Part 10

As we begin to wrap up the posts on Henri Nouwen's, In the Name of Jesus we come to a chapter titled, The Challenge: "Somebody Else Will Take You". Nouwen emphasises in this chapter the need to have a willingness to be led, not lead the way ourselves. Here are some of his thoughts.
  • Jesus has a different vision of maturity: It is the ability and willingness to be led where you would rather not go.
  • the servant-leader is the leader who is being led to unknown, undesirable, and painful places
  • for those who have heard the voice of the first love and said yes to it, the downward moving way of Jesus is the way to the joy and peace of God, a joy and peace that is not of this world.
  • Christian leadership in the future is not a leadership of power and control. but a leadership of powerlessness and humility in which the suffering servant of God, Jesus Christ, is made manifest.
  • I an speaking of a leadership in which power is constantly abandoned in favor of love.
  • Powerlessness and humility in the spiritual life do not refer to people who have no spine and who let everyone else make decisions for them. They refer to people who are so deeply in love with Jesus that they are ready to follow him wherever he guides them, always trusting that, with him, they will find life and find it abundantly
  • What is good about being poor? Nothing, except that it offers us the possibility of giving leadership by allowing ourselves to be led.
  • Wealth and riches prevent us from truly discerning the way of Jesus
  • Paul writes to Timothy: "People who long to be rich are prey to trial; they get trapped into all sorts of foolish and harmful ambitions which plunge people into ruin and destruction" ( 1 Timothy 6:9)

Once again the ability to grasp and exercises the counter intuitive nature of Jesus' leadership is the key to our success. The willingness to set our preferences aside in the hope of finding true joy in following a path led by the Master is much more difficult than it would seem it should be. Understanding that true freedom comes not from the choosing of our own destiny but from knowing "the plan I have made for you" and living them out.

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