How’s your soul? That’s not a question we ask one another very often and yet the state of our soul influences every other aspect of our lives. So, really…how’s your soul doing? If you had to pick several words that describe the state of your soul, what would they be?
John Ortberg tells a story about sitting with his mentor Dallas Willard. His soul was feeling weary and he had hoped that Dallas would offer a fix. Ortberg assures his longtime friend that he is spending time with God as he starts each day, thinking that was enough to get him through. His friend gently replied, “Your problem is not the first 15 minutes of the day. It’s the next 23 hours and 45 minutes. You must arrange your days so that you are experiencing total contentment, joy, and confidence in your everyday life with God” (Soul Keeping, John Ortberg). Wow! How many of us intentionally arrange our time in this way??
Sadly, many of us just plow through one day after another and as a result, we find that our souls are craving more. We hunger for more time with God and with people. We long for silence, spontaneity, Sabbath, and rest. We find that we have no time to give to the arts of noticing, observation and reflection. The day passes by quickly and our good intentions of cultivating relationships, enjoying creation, and partnering with God in what He is doing around us never seem to actually materialize. We have crammed more into our days than our souls can handle. Our overstuffed lives have left us with undernourished souls.
Why do we insist on choosing to live this way? Our lives are overstuffed for many different reasons. Some include:
*Expectations of Others
*Finding our worth in our “doing”
*Not knowing how to be still…it’s uncomfortable
*Trying to maintain control
*Guilt…if we don’t do it, then who?
*Confusing busyness with productivity
*Fear that we are going to disappoint others
*Playing the role of the rescuer.
I’m sure you could add more to this list. ALL of these things point to a deep need that lies underneath the surface, a need that is a gaping hole in our souls, a need that only Jesus can fill.
What’s your Jesus-sized hole? When you consider the reasons why your life is “overstuffed,” what do you sense? What do you see beneath the surface? Don’t run from the void. It’s God’s invitation to do some soul care. Trust…look…listen for His voice. He will help you discover how to arrange your days so that you are experiencing total contentment, joy, and confidence in your everyday life with Him.
If you don’t care for your soul, who will? Who should? You are the only one that can do it and Jesus is the only one who can fill in the holes you discover along the way.