Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Soul Care Pillars

So often I feel as if my soul is suffering in the midst of the demands and stress that the world, and I put on it. This morning I read something on Stirred Up Leadership that I thought was excellent. So thank you to Mindy Caliguire for a very well done post. I hope it resonates with you like it did with me!

Architecturally speaking, pillars are strong and reliable. They stand the test of time. Properly placed, they create space and buttress a structure.

Over time we have recognized the important, space-making role that core spiritual practices play in helping us both live and lead from the strong structure of a healthy soul, with plenty of space for God. These specific practices are foundational to what Soul Care offers.

Experience some right now:

Take a minute now to turn your thoughts towards God directly. Is there something you’re grateful for? Take moment to thank the Source of all good things. Something you’re worried about? Specifically name it… and ask for God’s help. Totally confused about something? Go ahead and ask for wisdom! Perhaps you want to simply sit in silence, attentive to God’s presence and love. Just for a minute—or twenty!— breathe deeply, and rest in God’s presence and love. James 1, Philippians 4, James 1, Psalm 131

Spiritual Friendship
What’s the most challenging area in your life these days? Is anyone walking through that with you? Be sure to let your soul-level friends know what’s really going on. Pick up the phone, send the text, write that email, or just stop by… they may pray with you, encourage you, hear your confession, or even just “be with you” in it in a way that helps you stay open to God. Any of your friends going through something significant these days? Take a moment to pray for them, too… and then connect. Ephesians 4:16, Galatians 6

Use of Scripture
Unlike any other book, the Bible is “living and active” and a variety of ways exist to study, read, meditate on, and be shaped by the truths. We do not want merely to know the principles it contains: we want to connect with the Person it proclaims. We can rely on it, take comfort in it, be corrected by it, find hope and direction though it. Hebrews 4:12, Psalm 119, John 5:39

The demands of daily life—especially in our 24/7 “wired” world—make it difficult to really hear from God and allow His person to form the basis of our identity. Even Jesus needed time specifically set aside to connect with His Father. Might there be things God’s been trying to convey, but you’re not listening? Not noticing? Take a few minutes to turn off all electronics (yes, even the computer!), and pay attention to God. Better yet, look at your schedule now and set aside a few hours—or days—in the next month to “be alone with God”. At-home parents, executives, pastors, students… we all need solitude. Psalm 46, Mark 1:35-37

Soul Searching
Where has God been at work in your life lately? In the pages of a journal, or in a few minutes of prayer, ask God to help you search through yesterday… where have you sensed His presence, or not? In hindsight, do you notice things you missed in the moment? Are there areas God has shown you where you strayed in an attitude or choice? If you’re human, the answer is likely yes! Confession yields life-giving freedom and soul-level peace. So, out with it. Come clean. Find grace. Psalm 139:23-24, 1 John 1

True simplicity is about developing a singularity of heart, or of purpose. It may impact our “stuff,” but most importantly it describes our focus—everything in life aligns to a central goal: Total surrender and abandonment to God. While many of us long to live into that kind of destiny, we often unknowingly clog and clutter our own path. Do you know who God’s made you to be, and for what purpose? How closely does your current life reflect that goal? Take whatever step you can today to bring alignment between those two things. By doing that, you’re caring for your soul through simplicity. Let God know it’s a journey you are willing to take… maybe write about it in a journal… and then pursue it wholeheartedly. Hebrews 12:1-2, Matthew 6:19-34, Prov. 11:3

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