Thursday, March 17, 2011

Here and Now

In reading the book "Here and Now" by Henri Nouwen....just wanted to share a couple key principles that stuck with me.

Living In The Present:
To live in the present, we must believe deeply that what is most important is the here and now. We are constantly distracted by the things that have happened in the past or that might happen in the future. But real life takes place in the here and now. God is a God of the present. God is always in the moment, be that moment hard or easy, joyful or painful.

Joy:
I always considered myself to be an "optimistic" person. Seeing the glass half full. Hopeful in every situation that there was good to come. Now although that may be a positive quality...it's not optimism that is the goal...it is JOY. I learned that joy is something quite different than naive optimism. Optimism is the attitude that makes us believe that things will be better tomorrow. The war will be over, your wounds will be healed, the depression will go away...all will be better soon. The optimist may be right or wrong, but, whether right or wrong, the optimist does not control the circumstances. Joy does not come from positive predictions about the state of the world. It does not depend on the ups and downs of the circumstances of our lives. Joy is based on the spiritual knowledge that, while the world in which we live in shrouded in darkness, God has overcome the world. The surprise is not that, unexpectedly, things turn out better than expected. No, the real surprise is that God's light is more real that all the darkness, that God's truth is more powerful than all human lies, that God's love is stronger than death.

9 comments:

  1. Such awesome parts! The parts about joy and finding that joy in suffering were by far some of my favorite parts. This part: "The war will be over, your wounds will be healed...", such an awesome statement to live by. It's not a maybe, its not something based on an uncertain event...its a for sure thing! A DONE DEAL! BOOM!

    Thanks for sharing! So awesome!

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  2. This is post full of wisdom. I love the way that you've read the book and allowed the Spirit to let it percolate in your heart. I think what you said about joy is dead on! It's not about positive predictions but about undertsanding the power of God demonstrated in the promise of Gid: he will overcome!

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  3. Loved the phrasing of "Joy is based on the spiritual knowledge that, while the world in which we live in shrouded in darkness, God has overcome the world." So true!

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  4. Amen! I've been thinking on the same things...the striking differences between JOY and HAPPINESS, or JOY and OPTIMISM, or JOY and BUBBLY-NESS....ha, is that even a word? Thanks for your encouragement to think more deeply on these things, and how awesome that God has already provided everything we need for true JOY! :)

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  5. i love your last sentence. it reminds me of romans 8:37. "...we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."

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  6. Thank you for sharing God's truth and God's love with me.

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  7. I second that Amen! I love what you said in your last sentence. God's joy is beyond what this world can offer! Thanks for reminding me of the truth of who God is :)

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  8. I feel like I can always spot people who are "optimistic" rather than "joyful," can't you?

    There's something different about them because joy is something internal while optimism seems like a costume...

    Anyways, thanks for the recap, and the highlights. Glad God used the book to stir some awesome stuff in you.

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  9. The chapter about joy really spoke to me too Charity. It definitely left me with a lot to process. It almost makes people who are optimistic seem one dimensional. But I love what you said about how joy is found in spiritual knowledge and that it must take its root in God overcoming the world. Let's set our eyes on joy rather than optimism! I miss you Charity! I'll see you very soon!

    PS: :)

    hahaha (I know how much we love happy faces....)

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