Trust the Inner Voice
Do you really want to be converted? Are you willing to be transformed? Or do you keep clutching your old ways of life with one hand while with the other you beg people to help you change?
Conversion is certainly not something you can bring about yourself. It is not a question of will power. You have to trust the inner voice that shows the way. You know that inner voice. You turn to it often. But after you have heard with clarity what you are asked to do, you start raising questions, fabricating objections, and seeking everyone else’s opinion. thus you become entangled in countless often contradictory thoughts, feelings, and ideas and lose touch with the god in you. And you end up dependent on all the people you gather around you.
Only by attending constantly to the inner voice can you be converted to a new life of freedom and joy.
The Inner Voice of Love – A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom by Henri Nouwen
Amid times of pain and anguish in my life, in desperation I fling my hands out around me – to my friends, family, church, coworkers, mate. I’m hoping to make contact and snag someone who can help me, someone, anyone who can heal me. Those whom I grab may indeed be able to assist me in some way and give me some measure of needed comfort. But inevitably, they are limited in the scope of their assistance and ultimately they are powerless to provide for my deepest need and longing. Henri isn’t calling for some kind of rugged spiritual individualism. After all, he lived the latter years of his life working and living in close community with others. He knew the value of interdependence and that when you need help, you get it. But Henri also knew and I now know all to well; that when it’s all said and done, you will be alone in the night, in the dark, with your pain and anguish. You can’t depend on others to rescue you. And as Erwin McManus has said, “There is nothing else out there!”
More deeply, Nouwen encourages me that the help I need is within me and that God has put it there. God’s strength, provision and presence is available. God reaches out to us and speaks to the deepest parts of us. Our transformation or conversion is within reach, but we must be willing to un-clutch and let go of our old ways, not seeking fulfillment in others, but ultimately in the voice of God within.