Nouwen: Time Travel
“Travelling is exciting and exhilarating. But when we have no home to return to where someone will ask us, "How was your trip?" we might be less eager to go. Travelling is joyful when we travel with the eyes and ears of those who love us, who want to see our slides and hear our stories. This is what life is about. It is being sent on a trip by a loving God, who is waiting at home for our return and is eager to watch the slides we took and hear about the friends we made.” Henri Nouwen, Henry Nouwen Society, Daily Email Meditation from Bread for the Journey, © 1997 HarperSanFrancisco
Nouwen gives this amazing image of our life and death and eternal life, traveling, seeing new sites, new stories, new people, and finally returning to God to tell God all about what we have seen, being sent out and then returning to Jesus like the “seventy-two” in Luke’s gospel. I also can imagine that the God of my understanding would sit with each of us for hours, for days, for centuries, listening to our stories of what we have seen on our travels away from the “home” where God is.
I remember today so many friends who have died who were especially major travelers. I can image them right there now sitting close to God still talking about their travels as God excitedly listens. I think God wants to see all our slides, our home movies, all the pictures on our iPhone.
When we talk to people about prayer, many say, “What do I say? I don’t know where to start.” Nouwen gives us this great “ice breaker” for talking to God not only at the end of this life, but at the end of each day, suggesting that we tell God what we have been doing all day, as we would tell a family member or friend about a recent journey.
“Well today I went out and met the most amazing people and I didn’t get anywhere near to the end of my ‘to do’ list because I spent time with them. What do you think, God? Was that what you were calling me to do today?”