I was thinking about your sabbatical and this came to mind. It from Henri Nouwen’s Reaching Out:

We often are very, very busy, and usually very tired as a result, but we should ask ourselves how much of our reading and talking, visiting and lobbying, lecturing and writing, is more part of an impulsive reaction to the changing demands of our surroundings than an action that was born out of our own center. We probably shall never reach the moment of a “pure action,” and it even can be questioned how realistic or healthy it is to make that our goal. But it seems of great importance to know with an experiential knowledge the difference between an action that is triggered by a change in the surrounding scene and an action that has ripened in our hearts through careful listening to the world in which we live…a response that is really our own. In solitude we can pay careful attention to the world and search for an honest response.

 

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