Shift Your Focus

Obsession with Self

“Although we tend to think about saints as holy and pious, and picture them with halos above their heads and ecstatic gazes, true saints are much more accessible. They are men and women like us, who live ordinary lives and struggle with ordinary problems. What makes them saints is their clear and unwavering focus on God and God’s people. (They) are our brothers and sisters, calling us to become like them.”

~Henri Nouwen

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Shift Your Focus

  1. Absolutely! We need look no further than the apostles themselves to see they were ordinary strugglers like anyone.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thomas a Kempis fits that description well.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Todd R says:

    Even when our focus is wavering and unclear, He still calls us saints by His grace

    Liked by 5 people

  4. This reminds me of how C.S. Lewis describes Hell in one of his books. He puts everyone sitting across from on another at giant banquet tables. Each person has a 3 foot fork strapped to one arm and a 3 foot spoon strapped to the other. The “guests” could easily reach across the table and feed one another, but they are too self-centered to do this. So, they are starving.

    Such is the reality of our navel gazing world, brother.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks for this, Mitch. So true. Speaks to the importance of discipleship, among other things, I think.

    I only recently discovered Nouwen, and have been enriched. Better late than never, I guess!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Oh, that’s so good. Nouwen is such an insightful writer. Years ago when my dad taught an adult Bible study class, he’d often call his students “saints,” as a reminder that all of us who follow Jesus are set apart to God. May we live up to that title with choices that honor him!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, ordinary people, yet with a “clear and unwavering focus on God and God’s people.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. At least in our lifetime, I would consider Mother Teresa a real apostle, who was deserved of sainthood. Otherwise, I’ve heard of too many historical “political” reasons given for sainthood.
    Art

    Liked by 1 person

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