This weekend Andy spoke about loving God with all our souls. I have always wondered what it’s like to love with your soul. It’s difficult to define, but I feel like I have a better grasp of what it at least looks like in my life.
The soul, as Andy said, makes us human. It moves us from just existing, like other animals, to actually living. It sets us apart from all other creatures on the earth. It’s what is “made in God’s image.”
In order to begin to love God with all our soul we need to do three things.
1. Pursue the wonder of God.
Press the pause button and marvel in the ever wonder of God’s creations. I just looked through some of my Windows 7 desktop backgrounds just to look at pictures taken in amazing places in the world. I should do that more often.
My friend and I were just talking today about how crazy cool the human body is. All of the organs and functions that happen… we also thanked God for covering our bodies with skin to avoid looking at the inside of our body any more than we do. Ick.
Another example that another one of my friends brought up this weekend is the details that go into having a child. Lucky for me, I don’t know much about that. But how does the baby instinctively know which way to come out? What sends you into labor at 40 weeks? Talk about detail oriented. God is just that.
2. Practice Meditation.
Put your spiritual mind on repeat. Memorize, think, rethink. Know your stuff enough so that when opportunity knocks, you have stuff in your mind, ready for the taking, not packed away somewhere that’s hard to find and bring forth. Hearing or reading something once just doesn’t stick long enough to make an impact on your life. It’s when thoughts, Scriptures, and prayer becomes part of your everyday experience, you start to naturally exude a Christ-likeness that no one but Jesus fully possessed.
3. Translate the Text.
Don’t just read it. After you meditated on something, you should be on the way to transformation. It does you no good to be a memorization king and never apply it to real life. It’s about moving from just knowing about something or that you should do something to actually doing that something.
Work at Home from the week is listed below. I’m going to be updating this section as I finish the homework. I’ll let you know how it goes! If anyone else is completing this homework, I’d love to hear what you are doing too!
1. Pursue wonder in watching a sunset.
Tentative sunset night: Wednesday or Friday. It ended up being on Friday night that we watched the sun set. Aside from the feeling of forced pleasantries, it was rather lovely. We headed up to Indian Rock after getting home from school at 8:00pm just to catch the clear blue sky say goodbye to the perfectly round, glowing ball of fire. The best part of it all was the richness of the blue. No creation besides the sky itself can really illuminate the brilliance that is that blue. Ridiculously stunning, I could stare it for hours and never get quite enough soaked into my eyes. God help me. Give me the ability to stare at you for hours without growing weary and falling short of enamored.
“By his power he made earth. His wisdom gave shape to the world. He crafted the cosmos. He thunders and rain pours down. He sends the clouds soaring. He embellishes the storm with lightnings, launches the wind from his warehouse.” -Jeremiah 51:15-17ish [MSG]
2. Practice meditation by memorizing Mark 12:29-30 and then each day meditating on loving God with all your heart, then with your soul, next with your mind, and the last day with your strength.
It is memorized. Now I need to meditate! Meditation hasn’t gone super successfully yet. I’m honest, though I’ve repeated this verse several times throughout my week as I have thought about it, it hasn’t gone much further than that. God’s mercy. How do I overcome the lethargy when it comes to thinking deeply?
3. Translate the text by moving one area of your life from knowing to doing.
I know I struggle with giving people grace. I don’t cut people slack, and I tend to assume the worst about the motives of others. I know I need to change this mind habit. I now just need to do it. The first step for me is awareness (ya, I’m starting at the very beginning of this whole deal.) Whenever I hear my self talk saying the worst about someone because I don’t have the full story yet, I am going to try and get my brain to think the reverse. God, help me.
I have become much more aware of this in my every day life. Still coming around with nasty thoughts of “she can’t possibly be telling the truth” or “he’s just trying to make my life suck” that belong in the garbage. But the first step has been done in most of these situations – awareness. So when I become aware, I try and self-talk myself into thinking the best in someone instead of the worst. Sometimes, I’ve actually caught myself laughing at the silliness of others instead of scrutinizing them silently. I must click the “like” button on this.