Ben has pointed us to the relatively new book coauthored by Stanley Hauerwas and Jean Vanier, Living Gently in a Violent World. One might argue that in some respects, Stanley has gotten more gentle as the years have gone on. Regardless, however, he’s definitely right in this remark:
“Long story short: we don’t get to make our lives up. We get to receive our lives as gifts. The story that says we should have no story except the story we chose … is a lie. To be human is to learn that we don’t get to make up our lives because we’re creatures…. Christian discipleship is about learning to receive our lives as gifts without regret” (p. 93).
I think the point about receiving our lives as gifts without regret is enormously important. The fact of the matter is that if we are going to be serious about our discipleship, we are all, in one way or another going to have to sacrifice our “dreams.” Being able to do so without regret is an integral part of the shalom the gospel proclaims. The question we all face is whether or not we really think that the journey of discipleship will leave us disappointed or not.