Can we only speak when we are fully living what we are saying? If all our words
had to cover all our actions, we would be doomed to permanent silence! Sometimes
we are called to proclaim God's love even when we are not yet fully able to live
it. Does that mean we are hypocrites? Only when our own words no longer call
us to conversion. Nobody completely lives up to his or her own ideals and visions.
But by proclaiming our ideals and visions with great conviction and great humility,
we may gradually grow into the truth we speak. As long as we know that our lives
always will speak louder than our words, we can trust that our words will remain
- Henri J. M. Nouwen
Oh my! When I read these words from Dr. Nouwen this morning, I just said to myself -- "Thank God for God and for Godly men and women"! Henri was such a Godly man whose words have been such an inspiration for me (can you notice?!). But Dr. Nouwen struggled with so many things in life. Nevertheless, he obeyed his call to God to write, to teach, and to share the good news of the truth about life, humanity, and, of course, God. Henri's brilliance, vast knowledge, and stellar CV is not so much what draws me to his writings and preaching. Rather, it is his deep search for God and how, despite and among his many many failures in life, he remained faithful and obedient to his call, bestowed upon him by God, and kept moving on his journey, overcoming as many obstacles as he could and/or learning and seeking through all his hurts and weaknesses, that which could still enable him to boldly proclaim Truth. It is very clear to me that the Voice of God is speaking through Henri's words. Henri had no choice but to leave the legacy of all the books he's written, the tapes he's left behind, many manuscripts of his lectures, and of course, the hundreds of peoples' lives he has changed through his direct counselling and/or inspirational writings. What a witness to love and redemption!
And yet, as I said -- he was so very very flawed and THAT'S what inspires me and keeps me going!
In obeying my own call to spread the good news about balanced diet, optimal nutrition, the importance of obtaining and maintaining a best body weight and fat:muscle ratio, and putting food and fitness in proper perspective -- I've had to struggle with my self-doubt and sometimes self-loathing during the times I wasn't fully living everything I was studying, discussing, teaching, counselling, writing about, and now blogging, tweeting, and rooting and tooting!
There were times in my life that I actually shut down to the world because I felt a fraud and hypocrite. I had all this knowledge, all this expertise, a tremendous ability to make a difference to the lives of so many people who needed me and who had nowhere to go and no one to ask about these issues, and I did nothing.
For me, honestly, it has only been through the grace of God -- support from all the people in my life He has sent to me, situations I have been led to, and yes, even His words directly spoken to me -- that have made me realize that living and sharing the glory of God's Truth is not based on MY perfection! What a total fool and blowhard I've been to think that the truth about nutrition, fitness, balanced diet, and food/fitness egalitarianism was based on ME being the perfect example of all of these realities!
My life started to transform as soon as I recommitted myself to obedience to God's Truth. That transformation and truth includes me knowing that my imperfection is part of the plan to set me free -- to love, to serve, and to be fully 'me' -- the BEST 'me', the 'me' that God sees, through His Eyes!
Peace and Truth Be With You!
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28