Soul Keeping: Caring for The Most Important Part of You

soul-keeping

During the month of September, I read a chapter or two of this book every night before hitting the sack. It was worth my while investing in this book because it made me do a lot of soul-searching. I came to the realization that I had certain misplaced priorities – I sometimes gave certain things in my life precedence over others when it should have been the other way round.

As I have an assignment due tomorrow, I do not have time to go into a full-blown exposition of this book even though I would very much like to. Instead, I will highlight a few salient quotes from the book that have kept me grounded whenever I get caught up in the busyness of my routine.

Quotes that I remember and re-read from time to time…

“A soul without a center feels constantly vulnerable to people or circumstances.”

“The space where we find rest and healing for our souls is solitude.”

“The soul without a center finds its identity in externals. My temptation when my soul is not centered in God is to try to control my life. In the Bible this is spoken of in terms of the lifting up of one’s soul. The prophet Habakkuk said that the opposite of living in faithful dependence on God is to lift your soul up in pride. The psalmist says that the person who can live in God’s presence is the one who has not lifted their soul up to an idol. When my soul is not centered in God, I define myself by my accomplishments, or my physical appearance, or my title, or my important friends. When I lose these, I lose my identity.”

“If you ask people who don’t believe in God why they don’t, the number one reason will be suffering. If you ask people who believe in God when they grew most spiritually, the number one answer will be suffering.”

“The paradox of soul-satisfaction is this: When I die to myself, my soul comes alive. God says the wrong approach to soul thirst is through human achievement and material wealth. So soul-satisfaction is not about acquiring the right things but about acquiring the right soul. It is not something you buy, but something you receive freely from God. Hear these great words of the prophet Isaiah: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and [your soul] will delight in the richest of fare.” And it will be satisfied.”  

“Gratitude does not always come naturally. You will not always feel grateful. But you can take the time each day to remember the benefits you received, see your benefactor, and thank him for his benefits. As Thornton Wilder put it, “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

“Your soul is what integrates your will (your intentions), your mind (your thoughts and feelings, your values and conscience), and your body (your face, body language, and actions) into a single life. A soul is healthy — well-ordered — when there is harmony between these three entities and God’s intent for all creation. When you are connected with God and other people in life, you have a healthy soul.”

“You must arrange your days so that you are experiencing deep contentment, joy, and confidence in your everyday life with God.”

‘”For much of our lives, we live in the shallows.Then something happens – a crisis, a birth, a death – and we get this glimpse of tremendous depth. My soul becomes shallow when my interests and thoughts go no further than myself. A person should be deep because life itself is deep. A deep soul has the capacity to understand and empathize deeply with other people – not just himself. A deep soul notices and questions and doesn’t just go through the motions. A deep soul lives in conscious awareness of eternity, not simply today. It notices and observes and reflects in surprising ways – we talk about a person of “hidden depths”‘

“The soul is not well when we rush so much. If it does not get the rest it needs, it becomes fatigued.”

“Somebody said that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”

“If you want to free your soul, you acknowledge that there is a spiritual order that God has designed for you. You are not the center of the universe. You are not the master of your fate. You are not the captain of your ship. There is a God, and you aren’t him. True freedom comes when you embrace God’s overall design for the world and your place in it. This is why in the Bible you see this strong connection between God’s law and soul-freedom.”

“The most important thing in your life,” Dallas said, “is not what you do; it’s who you become. That’s what you will take into eternity. You are an unceasing spiritual being with an eternal destiny in God’s great universe.”

“To speak about depth means that there is more going on than what we see on the surface. To love deeply or care deeply or value deeply means we have devoted time and effort and thought. To suffer deeply means to be wounded at the soul level. “Depth” is an expression of spiritual vastness.”

“The more you think you’re entitled to, the less you will be grateful for. The bigger the sense of entitlement, the smaller the sense of gratitude. We wonder why in our world we keep getting more and more and more and keep being less and less and less grateful.”

If I could just sum up what I got from the whole book I would say this:

The Lord is my rock and my confidence. My successes do not make me. Neither do my failures crush me. Yes, I may experience hurt and loss when something is removed or does not work out. I may be broken but I will not be crushed. My self-worth is not based on externals in life such as my accomplishments, human relationships, possessions or even my mistakes. It comes from knowing fully that I am created in the image of God and that I am loved as I am by my maker. That, is the ultimate expression of my identity. 🙂

“But let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth.” – Jeremiah 9:24

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2 thoughts on “Soul Keeping: Caring for The Most Important Part of You

  1. An amazing book that you read and one that has inspired me to do the same. It is my sort of reading material that I delve into often. This one quote spoke to me: “The space where we find rest and healing for our souls is solitude.”
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful book.

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