“Dear God,
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life

A friend of mine just posted this on Facebook.   There’s a couple of things that really struck me about this……

“Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?”   That is so true – so many of the problems in the 1st World stem from our belief that we are what we have.    We are important because we drive the fancy cars and go to the right schools and golf at the right places.   This prayer unwraps that idea and says, “God, who am I if I don’t clink to those “things” that I know don’t matter?”   I’m scared to admit that I’m not what I own.

“Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?”     I wrote earlier about accepting the cure.   We don’t need stuff, we don’t need a list of impressive degrees, we don’t need a long list of accomplishments.   We just need to accept the cure and then do what God tells us to.

”I am……what you want to give me.”   How much richer, deeper and more meaningful our lives would be if we focused on that rather than getting caught up in the “acquisition” of stuff, of feelings of importance and instead said, “God, what do you want?   What do you want me to do?   What do you want to give me?”  

It’s all His anyway, why do we act like it’s all about us?

Tom