The Front Page

Welcome to the Front Page, the digital cover of the Wayne Press.  Here we will share with you things that can't be captured in our newsletter--videos, music, color photographs--as well as articles that reflect on faith and life.  

 

Discernment

     

       A recent book that I was asked to read, Discernment by Henri Nouwen, has really inspired me as I walk on my own spiritual journey.  Henri Nouwen is like a celebrity in the theologian world, but the one thing he struggled with immensely was identity.  Some people who knew him would even go so far as to say, “he was a mess.”  He often had a hard time believing what he wrote, and struggled feeling worthy of God’s love.  He could not grasp the idea of a sovereign God who distributes grace to those unworthy.  It is fascinating how reading the writings of a famous pastoral psychologist, who admits to what he most struggles with, gives us a sense of empowerment in our own spiritual walk.          

      Discernment is not a book written by Nouwen, but a collection of his journals as he spent time alone discerning what his calling was for his next stage in life.  Henri Nouwen talked about how discernment is a process, it is not a moment where you just wake up and have the answer, it is a lifelong journey.  From Henri Nouwen’s own words:

“Living a spiritually mature life requires listening to God’s voice within and among us. To discern means first of all to listen to God, to pay attention to God’s active presence, and to obey God’s prompting, direction, leadings, and guidance. Discernment of spirits is a lifelong task. I can see no other way for discernment than to be committed to a life of unceasing prayer and contemplation, a life of deep communion with the Spirit of God.”         

      To me this book truly is about finding that, “thin place,” in the midst of the chaos of the real world, where you can regularly go to meet God.  It is about being able to have that Montreat (Presbyterian Conference Center) experience every day, not just when you escape the real world, to the beauteous mountains of western North Carolina .  He talks about how God can speak through nature, books, people, and current events just by you listening, or engaging in spiritual disciplines in order to hear Him.  Through listening we can understand when it is time for action or time for patience.  Nouwen says, “Discernment is a life of listening to a deeper sound and marching to a different beat, a life in which we become ‘all ears’.”  In exploring the different spiritual disciplines myself, I highly recommend challenging yourself to find that “thin place” where God can speak to you, and where you can be “all ears”.

Posted by Sarah Hostetter at 6:30 AM
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