This week I have been reading Henri Nouwen's book Lifesigns. The book builds of Jesus words in John 15 and examines how people can move from living in a constant state
of fear to living in the love of a relationship with Jesus. Nouwen contends that the majority of people live in some state of fear regarding their lives and the world around them. By focusing on Jesus words in John 15 we can move from fear into deeper levels of realtionships, fruitfulness and joy.
I find myself in a place of great receptivity to Nouwen on these points. There are many things to be afraid of in my life right now. I feel a great anxiousness about the next three months. I'm focusing all I can on Jesus and living in his love but it is tough at times. Nouwen says some things in this book that really resonate with me and I believe it was God's providence that I read the book when I did.
Nouwen says that our "if/how" questions reveal to us our fears.
Some of mine include...
- What will I do if I don't find a job I love?
- What will happen if we list our house and it doesn't sell quickly?
- How are we going to pay for all the kids activities? How will the kids be shaped by their childhood?
What Nouwen is so sharp in perceiving is how:
"A huge network of anxious questions surrounds us and begins to guide many, if not most of our daily decisions.....Fearful questions never lead to love-filled answers....Fear engenders fear....Fear never gives birth to love...Without fully realizing it, we become anxious, nervous, worrying people caught in the questions of survival...and we tend to dismiss words spoken from the house of love as unrealistic, romantic, sentimental, pious, or just useless."
Lifesigns is a book about breaking free from fear and living in Jesus house of love.