Friday, February 26, 2010

Birthday as Time for Reflection

This is a great Nouwen quote that seems appropriate to ponder on my birthday. A mile mark, providing an opportunity to reflect on the past in hopes to live in the present more fully.

"O Lord, life passes by swiftly. Events that a few years ago kept me totally preoccupied have now become vague memories; conflicts that a few months ago seemed so crucial in my life now seem futile and hardly worth the energy; inner turmoil that robbed me of my sleep only a few weeks ago has now become a strange emotion of the past; books that filled me with amazement a few days ago now do not seem as important; thoughts which kept my mind captive only a few hours ago, have now lost their power and have been replaced by others.

Why is it so hard to learn from this insight? Why am I continuously trapped by a sense of urgency and emergency? Why do I not see that you are eternal, that your kingdom lasts forever, and that for you a thousand years are like one day? O Lord, let me enter into your presence and there taste the eternal, timeless, everlasting love with which you invite me to let go of my time-bound anxieties, fears, preoccupations, and worries. "Seek first the Kingdom," you said, "and all these other things will be given you as well." All that is timebound will show its real meaning when I can look at it from the place where you want me to be, the place of undying love."

-Henri Nouwen

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