Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Life as unbearable burden

From p. 34 of the writings of Henri Nouwen in 'The Only Necessary Thing':
Life becomes an unbearable burden whenever we lose touch with the presence of a loving Savior and see only hunger to be alleviated, injustice to be addressed, violence to be overcome, wars to be stopped, and loneliness to be removed. All these are critical issues, and Christians must try to solve them; however, when our concern no longer flows from our personal encounter with the living Christ, we feel oppressive weight.

Ah, so right. And this is one area of concern for me in missional discussions. I think there are some who mistakenly see "missional" as simply the tackling of these issues. Certainly these things need tackled - as Nouwen says - but they are tackled from a life given to God. I fear some overlook that step. And it's a big step to overlook. We must start with God, or life will be an unbearable burden.