Life is an adventure and an advance when every ending is a new beginning. New beginnings can present themselves when we see beyond the garret to the delights that have been beckoning us from the infinite blue and the golden light that shouts infinity. It is in our nature to be called forward. But this is difficult when we worship stasis, when we have made an idol out of a current identity and handed down beliefs - beliefs that we would see were shoddy and ill-founded where we to follow the beckoning of the light. Charles Ringma following Henry Nouwen writes,
UNADORNED SELF “One powerful way to be called forward is to discover what Nouwen calls the "unadorned self." This he describes as a state "in which I am completely vulnerable, open to receive and give love regardless of any accomplishments.” Here Ringma draws our attention to the freedom that is ours to be and grow when we are not looking to the support of any identity, any network of belief or any status we think we might possess in our situation as it is at present. We are like a house-holder whose house is about to burn down, so we escape with our clothes and our lives and give thanks that we are alive and remain free to be ourselves and alive in a new realm of possibility.
“This discovery can hardly occur while we maintain our regular priorities and are surrounded by our familiar world. This discovery will seldom occur while our world is secure and we revel with satisfaction in all that we have built, produced, and accomplished. [Nouwen transitioned to a situation] where the former accomplishments meant nothing, and previous achievements were more of a disadvantage than an asset.”
This is similar to our interrupted and stagnated spiritual progress and the torpor that is ours, despite our efforts even invisible to ourselves - but not to our friends.
‘Discovering the "unadorned self" can occur in all our places of transition: privilege to voluntary relinquishment, security to risk-taking, certainty to questioning and faith to seeking.’
We are talking about the reality of being born again - of the radical rebirth from religion into union with God and the start of the journey of living here in God naturally without artifice and effort because we are living in what we were meant to have from the foundation of the world. This is the birth from birth as a notion to being born again in spirit and in truth. In this new life all things are indeed new. We have one identity who is Christ and one life who is Christ. We have one unfolding resurrection that is Christ in us.
Charles Ringma. Dare to Journey--with Henri Nouwen (Designed for Influence) (Kindle Locations 640-647). Kindle Edition.