Every now and then I come across a book that helps give me language to express what I have been thinking and feeling. This is one of those books.
Living with a sense of Awe
Rolheiser speaks to how there is a loss of wonder, amazement and awe in our world today. In our rush to find an answer for everything we have lost our ability to be in awe of anything. Rolheiser points to the problem of unbelief among believers and a loss of our ability to live and move as contemplatives within this world as one of the biggest things that keeps us from seeing God alive, well and working in our world today.
Roadblocks to Encountering God
Of particular value is Rolheiser’s work on three main things which stand in the way of our fully experiencing God.
Excessive Narcissism – “When we stand before reality preoccupied with ourselves we will see precious little of what is actually there to be seen.”
Pragmatism – “doing counts for everything, being counts for nothing. We cling to what we do, not who we are, as if it (doing) were life itself.”
Restlessness – a sense of being unsatisfied with our life, a greed for experience – “when restlessness becomes excessive…our lives become consumed with the idea that unless we somehow experience everything, travel everywhere, see everything…then we are small and meaningless.”
No longer a captive
The longer I read the more I found myself with words to explain some of what I have wrestled to express and share. Rolheiser believes that when Jesus said, “I have come to set captives free” he was speaking to all people.
If I can be set free of my self-centered thinking and way of viewing the world, if I can be set free from always doing and be at peace with my being, if I can learn to live content with the gift of life God has given me…there is life to the full.
Respond to the longing
Much in our society fights against such thinking, against living and moving in this way. Rolheiser’s gift is that he gives solid language to express what many have felt as only a longing deep within their soul that there must be something more.