36 Hope Expands: Wearing a Path Thin


I came across this on accident last week, when researching an article.

Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.”

We are made to believe that self-deprecation is a virtue, called humility. But humility is in reality the opposite. It is the grateful recognition that we are precious in God’s eyes and that all we are is a pure give. 

We must grow beyond self-rejection 

(From Henri J.M. Nouwen, Bread for the Journey)

diving board

How would it feel to do this? Grow beyond…

I imagine it feeling like being completely naked.

Like having no idea who I was anymore.

Probably everyone hating my guts.


I have to do it, if I want my hope to expand. If I want to be an instrument to expand hope in others, I have to let it go.

I am reading Nicolas Kristof and Sherly WuDunn’s new book, A Path AppearsA film of the same title, will premier on PBS January 26, 2015.




The enemy wants us to waste our time in self-rejection, worrying in circles, being ineffective.

I want to walk hope, away from my self-depreciation and worry and into life.

I want a path to appear for people because I kept walking it.

What path are you going to wear thin? How can you grow beyond self rejection? 



12 thoughts on “36 Hope Expands: Wearing a Path Thin

  1. Hi Lisa, It’s lovely to read that wearing a thin path is a good thing. Normally you associate wearing thin with something negative like, “His excuses are beginning to wear a little thin!” I believe that you are wearing that thin path through this blog. That you are the adventurer, beckoning others to follow. Soon your little path will be a highway. Hopefully your self-hating will be on a journey too, and will wake up one day to find that it has morphed into something beautiful, with your eyes so glued on God and making a path for everyone that you won’t notice it’s gone away!

    Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2014 06:01:40 +0000 To: rps_diane@hotmail.com

    • You give beautiful encouragement. I loved that play on the words too. A thin path usually does mean something negative. I liked the way they looked at it. You are creating a social justice highway for sure.

    • Oh my goodness! I just checked my email. I have a dear friend who emails a prayer to a group of us every Monday morning. Here’s what today’s prayer said:
      “Thank you for being a God who never leaves even when I choose not to see myself as Your prized possession, someone whom You delight in, someone who has been fearfully and wonderfully made despite all my downfalls. Your eyes for me never change! Your love never changes!”
      I love it when God wants to drive home a point.

  2. Nice post, and Henri Nouwen is always a good resource.

    I come to this from a different place, being a longtime Zen practitioner. Rather than trying to avoid “rejection of self”, I cultivate “indifference to self”.

    Sounds negative, but it’s really not. “I” am something that’s constantly changing; pancreatic pain is rather severe as I write this, and it heavily influences who “I” am. I was someone, and something else a week ago, when it wasn’t quite so bad.

    And I’ll be something else tomorrow, if the pain and itsmalignant cause all goes away.

    That said, there’s no “me” to reject; certainly there are core values and interests, but their view and aspect are constantly shifting. When I try to find a definable self, I come up short.

    So…what I am, in each moment I try to fully “be”. Now I am commenting on this post, and it has my full attention. When i finish, the moment and the person who commented will be put aside, and “I” will live in a new place, defined to a large degree by what I choose or am compelled to do.

    I would like to think there is some of the human aspect of Jesus in this; that when He was a carpenter, He was fully a carpenter. And when He was saving the world, that had His full attention and heart. That is the ultimate expression of being human; His acceptance of changing Self with changing moments.

    He could only be “the same yesterday, today,and forever” in His divinity.

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