I have pledged to join Pastor Jodi Haier in an Advent blogging discipline. We are both using the same Advent devotional with our churches (click the picture below for more information on the devotional), and we will both be sharing nearly-daily personal responses to each day’s readings. We’re excited to see how different our responses might be, and also where there will be places of convergence. If you are using this devotional resource and would like to share your own reflections, post them in the comments of either of our blogs, or send us a link to your own blog–we’re happy to post links!
“Can I choose to make innocence my home, think from there, speak from there, act from there? It is a hard choice because my insecure self wants so much to be part of a world that controls, rewards, and tells me whether I am good or bad.”
Innocence as the antidote to insecurity? Wow. I never would have thought of that. It sits right, though, with my experiences. I’ve definitely felt the ways that insecurity can make me want to seize control and sort the world into well-labeled boxes. Innocence, which in this case I think Nouwen is using to mean a simple trust in God’s provision and love, allows life to happen.
I think of the difference between my 16 month old son and my 4 year-old daughter. My daughter is already developing those insecurities that plague us all, and as a result, she is slightly less trusting, and slightly more controlling. Rather than trusting that I will do what is best for her, she attempts to control my behavior to get the result she wants. My son, on the other hand, is still young enough that he mostly goes with the flow–as long as Mom or Dad is close by he trusts that his needs will be met.
Of course, a big part of the difference, too, is lack of ability. My son has less impulse to control his world because he doesn’t know how to do most of what he wants done–he can’t peel a banana, or fill his bottle with milk, or change his own diaper. My daughter, however, is just capable enough that she likes to believe she can do anything and everything.
And that–that describes me, pretty well, too. Just capable enough that I like to believe I can do anything and everything. It is frightening to imagine relinquishing control and trusting God to provide. Is there a difference between this simple trust and naivete?