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Book Review : Thriving as an artist – part 2

November 7, 2005

I’ve finished reading chapter 3 – coping with rejection and failure where Rory Noland discusses amongst other things the statement: “Always do what God wants you to do and let someone else do what you want to do” and quotes this interesting testimony from Henri Nouwen which is in Nouwen’s book, The Road to Daybreak.

“My trips to Latin America had set in motion the thought that I might be called to spend the rest of my life among the poor of Bolivia or Peru. So I resigned from my teaching position at Yale and went to Bolivia to learn Spanish and to Peru to experience the life of a priest among the poor. I sincerely tried to discern whether living among the poor in Latin America was the direction to go. Slowly and painfully,I discovered that my spiritual ambitions were different from God’s will for me. I had to face the fact that I wasn’t capable of doing the work of a missioner in a Spanish-
speaking country, that I needed more emotional support than my fellow missioners could offer, that the hard struggle for justice often left me discouraged and dispirited, and that the great variety of tasks and obligations took away my inner composure. It was hard to hear my friends say that I could do more for the South in the North than in the South and that my ability to speak and write was more useful among university students than among the poor. It became quite clear to me that idealism, good intentions, and a desire to serve the poor do not make up a vocation.”

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith