“The love of Jesus will give you an ever-clearer vision of your call. . . . The more you are called to speak for God’s love, the more you will need to deepen the knowledge of that love in your own heart. The farther the outward journey takes you, the deeper the inward journey must be.”- Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love
In Chapter 14 (“Stop Collecting Gurus”) of The Next Right Thing, Emily P. Freeman notes her tendency to latch onto someone else’s security and confidence when she feels insecure or aimless. However, as it turns out, the best time to seek out an expert is when you need a plan. Not a vision.
Furthermore, Emily observes, when we feel unsure, indecisive, or doubtful, we’re tempted to look around and conduct ‘research.’ For the author, this process often leads to some form of exaggeration. As a result, Emily exaggerates other people’s skills or successes. Hence, from that perspective, it’s easy to believe the myth that everyone else wins all the time.
Therefore, we need to pay attention, as Emily’s husband John states, to what we pay attention to. Instead of paying attention to another’s agenda, pay attention to how you pay attention to their agenda. And if that causes you some anxiety, Emily exhorts, you know what to do.
Thus, vision and purpose must first come from the quiet place within us. Only then can we seek insight regarding our next right step to take that aligns with our vision. We need to avoid going to the other extreme where we look for outside voices to tell us what can only come from within. And we keep company with Jesus for the pleasure of His company, not for the sake of a plan.
In conclusion, Emily offers this prayer:
“Show us where we are frantically grasping for guidance and replace the darkened pathway with your light, the foggy future with your peace, and our longing for security with your confidence.”
Today’s question: What provides you with an ever-clearer vision of your call? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “God lends us his ear, gives us his word”