A few books have been so influential in my life that I reread them every
year. One of those books is Henri Nouwen’s
the “Way of the Heart”. I think it’s a
must read for each and every person who is serious about their life in Christ. The book serves as a tool for loosening all
the knots in my life, the places where my Christ life detoured into the dark
alleys of our world. Nouwen focuses on
three disciplines for the Christian life. Solitude, Silence and Prayer.
Every year, as I read through the life-giving book I find myself drawn
into a deeper relationship with God. A
deep thirst takes hold of me, one that’s not quenchable in the shallow waters
of our culture. I also find myself
repenting a lot. Confessing my living
the anti-Christ life.
Nouwen quotes Merton talking about the Desert Fathers in saying,
"Society was regarded
by the desert fathers as a shipwreck from which each single individual person
had to swim for his other life. They were the ones who believed that to let
oneself drift along passively, accepting the tenets and values of what they
knew as society was purely and simply a disaster."
“They knew they were
helpless to do any good for others as long as they floundered about in the
wreckage. But once they got a foothold
on solid ground, things were different. Then
they had not only the power but even the obligation to pull the whole world to
safety after them.”
In the last few days I spoke
to two different Christians who are finding their congregations such a wreckage
that they feel compelled to jump ship. These brothers are not neurotic narcissists looking for a perfect
world. They are dear brothers who love
God. I know how they feel, I had to jump
ship myself – hopefully we can recover and pull others from the wreckage!