Study of the Soul
This Sunday, in response to the jigsaw puzzle of last week, I would like to take some time to examine the jigsaw pieces that are our lives. Instead of focusing on the world outside of us, I would like to instead, focus briefly on the world inside of us.
A few years back I did a study of the soul. I wanted to find out what it was, how it functioned, if it was real, if it changed over time, and how our perceptions of it played out. I came away with the theory that we each contain this God-shaped “void” within us. It is as individualized as our appearance. No soul is the same, not one. Our souls help define who we are, how we respond to others, and how we see ourselves. Our souls either strengthen us and our convictions, or weaken us, particularly if we pay no attention to the care of the soul.
Jesus is the example of what quality soul work can look like. He took risks; sometimes intense risks. He would be the first to admit that his willingness and his ability to do what he did was based on his relationship, his trust, his time with, and understanding of God. At the same time, he seemed to know that even that depended on him doing whatever was necessary to keep his own soul healthy, alive, and whole. He was centered on God; God’s teaching, God’s healing, God’s accountability, and God’s transformational power; a power that was flowing through him; through his soul. Doing any of that meant spending time with God, being challenged, renewed, even reinvigorated by his Creator.
Bottom line is that it is up to us whether we do the same. Like our physical health, our soul or spiritual health depends on any number of actions taken on our part. So, why explore this now? As we continue to walk through what it means to be a place of belonging, our individual souls will play a huge part as together we work our way through this year. My hope his Sunday is to focus on a few of the soul-based exercises and activities that will help us be spiritually healthy and vibrant. To prepare, please read Psalm 139, and write about what you felt as you read it.