I’ve recently been loaned a book called ‘Soul Keeping’ by John Ortberg. It’s sub-title is; ‘Caring for the Most Important Part of You.’
Anyway, in one part he likens our life as a group of 4 concentric circles. In the very centre is our Will, with the next ring outwards being Mind, followed by Body and then encompassing it all in the final circle is Soul. He says, “The soul is the capacity to integrate all the parts into a single whole life.” In other words, the soul holds us all together. Or as Jesus said, in Mt 16:26, “What good will it be for a man/woman if he/she gains the whole world, yet forfeits his/her soul? Or what can a man/woman give in exchange for his/her soul?” In other words, without a healthy soul, then the body is so incomplete that it cannot function as it was designed to. Interestingly enough, I then saw an example of what this looks like out in God’s creation.
I happened to be visiting one of our local parks one sunny day. In that park there are a few small ponds/lakes. When I first came to Papakura, they were fresh looking with open water. I even used to sail my hand-built scale model radio-controlled models on them – an ideal and pretty spot.
But the other day as I walked around two of them, I saw they were smothered in oxygen weed with very little clear water. A few ducks made their way slowly through the tangle. Then you begin to see more. Plastic bags, heaps of wind-blown debris, the remains of a kite, two motorcycle tires and countless other bits of human detritus all ensnared in the weed. What had once looked pretty and served a function, now looked soiled.
It got me thinking. If the lake was our soul, then all that junk in it which entangled it’s flowing waters and aesthetically attractive looks, was destroying that soul. It made me think about our lifestyle of increasing busyness, consumerism and the like and what it can actually do to us. God never designed us to be like that. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Mt 11:28. Rest here means refreshment, taking it easy, renewing your life.
That lake needs it’s life renewed. Most of us need our lives renewed too from the ‘weeds’ that threaten to bind us up. Jesus is that Way. He has that rest for you and me and in Him we will find, “rest for your souls.” Mt 11:29