Thought for the Day – Henri J. M. Nouwen on Transition

Take time to believe in your free choice before you move forward in a new direction.”– Henri J. M. Nouwen

I recently had a conversation with a bullet train. Not a real train, mind you, but a person who has the same drive as one—cruising at top-speed toward their destination. Being around high-capacity, high-energy people like that fuels my bullet train engine too, and inspires me to move farther down my own track. The problem for my friend was that his destination recently changed. He’d lost his job.

Being a resourceful bullet train, however, he was already on track toward the next idea, when the thought struck him. “How do I know if this is the best direction for me right now?” That’s a familiar question. I’ve asked it myself on a number of occasions, usually after I’m much farther down the track on the next venture than he was. In fact, a number of years ago I launched a new company and worked in it for two years before I stopped long enough to ask if it was the right business for me. I pursued it because I was bullet train, and bullet trains are designed to move, not to be parked in the train yard. During that painful time I learned that I had placed a higher premium on velocity than direction. Anxious to resume top-speed again, I plunged into the next opportunistic thing regardless of what it cost me to get where I didn’t really care to go. It was a train robbery at high-speed—that impatient start robbed me of my freedom to evaluate the best destination.

Your thoughts? Have you had a similar experience of jumping prematurely into something just to keep moving?

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One thought on “Thought for the Day – Henri J. M. Nouwen on Transition

  1. I hear that message (and have lived it too ;). Interestingly, since I desire to follow Christ, when I look at his life he was never in a hurry. Always intentional, never regretful. It’s easy for me to dismiss this quality in him as a product of his deity. But, rather I presume that what you identified as being beneficial and what He personified is probably beneficial and life giving for me as well-time to think, pray and plan! Thanks for the reminder.

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