Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven,
“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
I recently began Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen.
The message of this book has changed so much about the way I view not only myself, but the world in which we operate within.
Slowly, as the pages of this book permeated by heart and mind,
I began to see the quest I have been on.
The quest of always looking for someone or something
able to convince me of my Belovedness.
Nouwen explains that the words, “You are my Beloved,”
reveal the most intimate truth about all human beings.
Essential to this quest, is the understanding that self-rejection
is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life,
because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.”
Therefore, every believer will daily be tempted toward self-rejection,
whether in the form of arrogance or low self-esteem.
Nouwen poses the question:
“Aren’t you, like me, hoping that some person, thing, or event will come along to give you that final feeling of inner well-being you desire? Don’t you often hope: “May this book, idea, course, trip, job, country, or relationship fulfill my deepest desire.”
“But as long as you are waiting for that mysterious moment you will go on running helter-skelter, always anxious, and restless, always lustful and angry, never fully satisfied. You know that this is the compulsiveness that keeps us going and busy, but at the same time makes us wonder whether we are getting anywhere in the long run. This is the way to spiritual exhaustion and burn-out. This is the way to spiritual death.”
The good news is we don’t have to kill ourselves in this quest.
We are intimately loved long before parents, bosses, boyfriends, spouses, children, and friends loved and wounded us, accepted or rejected us.
We are God’s chosen ones.
When I know that I am chosen,
I know that I have been seen as a special person.
Someone has noticed me in my uniqueness and has expressed a desire to know me, to come closer to me, to love me.
I have been seen by God from all eternity
and seen as unique, special, and precious.
I was already chosen long before my parents admired me or a man pursued me.
The eyes of love had seen me as precious, as of infinite beauty, as of eternal value.
In a world marked by brokenness, when we are surrounded by rejections,
how are we supposed to claim our chosenness?
1. Keep unmasking the world about you for what it is:
Manipulative, controlling, power-hungry, and in the long run, destructive. The world tells you many lies about who you are, and you have to be realistic enough to remind yourself of this.
We must proclaim truth amidst the lies.
2. Keep looking for people and places where your truth is spoken and where you are reminded of your deepest identity as the chosen one.
Listen to those who call you back to Truth.
3. Celebrate your chosenness constantly.
Gratitude is the greatest path toward deepening our understanding that we are not an accident, but a divine choice.
There is freedom & rest in knowing
we are God’s chosen ones,
even when our world does not choose us.