I’ll never forget the first time I ever read Henri Nouwen’s book, Return of the Prodigal Son – it was right around the time I first got connected to Newsong. I was sitting on my couch, not knowing my whole life was about to change. I read this paragraph and my jaw dropped:
“I have a new vocation now. It is the vocation to speak and write from that place back into the many places of my own and other people’s restless lives. I have to kneel before the Father, put my ear against his chest and listen, without interruption, to the heartbeat of God. Then, and only then, can I say carefully and very gently what I hear. I know now that I have to speak from eternity into time, from the lasting joy into the passing realities of our short existence in this world, from the house of love into the houses of fear, from God’s abode into the dwellings of human beings. I am well aware of the enormity of this vocation. Still, I am confident that it is the only way for me. One could call it the “prophetic” vision: looking at people and this world through the eyes of God.”
After I read those words, I literally dropped the book on the floor. More than ten years later, I still think about it almost every morning: “I have to kneel before the Father, put my ear against his chest and listen to his heartbeat, then speak what I hear from eternity into time.” It’s the way I get calibrated to begin the day – like checking the weather to figure out what you’re going to wear. This is how we’re brought back into alignment with kingdom purposes, “on earth as it is in heaven.”
How amazing to actually listen to God’s heartbeat, then take what we hear and turn it into words and acts of service to bless others. It makes me look forward to Sunday, but even more – it makes me excited for life! Whatever you may think your vocation is, I pray we get out of bed and do this everyday.
Dave Brubaker is Newsong’s Communications Pastor and movie lover.