When I think about getting in shape, it crosses my mind that pears and grapes are viable options in contrast to the idealized hour-glass shape. I also think that I can get in shape for swimming, but be out of shape for running. This holds true for snowboarding, weightlifting & a plethora of other physical exercises.
Indeed, let’s go beyond the physical and cardiovascular concepts and think about our mental and spiritual shape! Keeping fit in our minds and emotions requires exercise and usage since the old adage, “Use it or lose it!” holds true.
And let’s be certain that we don’t neglect our spiritual shape when we consider what it means to be healthy. I’ve met plenty of people who are physically and mentally healthy, but whose spiritual lives are anemic on a good day. And I’m learning that if I’ll keep my spiritual health as a top priority, it’s often easier to be physically and mentally healthy. To stay spiritually healthy, here are a few helpful suggestions:
Read your Bible daily
Purpose to have prayerful conversations with God throughout the day
Connect with spiritual communities (church, small groups, Bible study, etc)
When I walk in my house, there’s a key ring where I always hang my car keys. I do this so that I can find them easily & not waste time looking for them, nor getting frustrated. Keeping things in their place helps me not lose things.
The same thing applies to my mind. If I keep my mind set in the right place, I don’t “lose” it. There are definitely times when my mind gets lost in various quagmires – emotional rabbit trails, planning stuff that’s not productive, relationship struggles, anxieties, dwelling on past failures, etc.
If we want to keep our mind in a good place, not lost or meandering, then let’s remember to always “set” our minds and n the Spirit, so that we have life & peace – Romans 8:6 🙂
I’m a reader & I read a wide array of books on a plethora of topics. So here’s a good one that’s uber practical for your body, soul & spirit: 30 Day Faith Detox.
I’m recommending this book because there’s not a single reader of this blog who doesn’t need some help in all three of these areas. I’m also recommending this book because it’s practical, holistic, easy to read & implement. So grab a copy today!
I’ve been home for 2 days from my Saving Moses trip to South Sudan & we have a mouse in the pantry – probably more than one. My husband and 2 sons spent the morning clearing everything out to see if they could figure out what the mouse has been eating & they found a few culprits: peanuts, dried coconut & probably a few other items. So they’ve resealed everything, put most of it in tupperware & have set out some traps so hopefully the mouse conundrum has been resolved because mice are a nuisance & can become dangerous.
Sometimes, I think that we let little things eat away at us on the inside – small fears, insecurities, negative memories, past failures, . . . . . While these things can be annoying, if we’re not careful, they can become deadly if we don’t do some soul cleaning from time to time, to get rid of the riff raff. So let’s take a few moments this day to do a quick inventory & see if there are some parasites & pests who have been gnawing on your soul & then do some prayer to give these things to Jesus & receive His peace and wholeness in exchange 🙂
We recently watched the movie, “How to Train a Dragon” & we really enjoyed it – lots of laughing & fun! After the movie, my kids & I were talking about how the guy worked to train Toothless, his dragon. One of my kids said to me, “Mom, are you trying to train me?!?” I busted out laughing because it was a really cute & innocent question, making me smile in my heart 🙂
This question also started me thinking about the idea of “training” & what it means in various contexts – physical training, educational training, etc. To understand the training process, we need to think about how training is achieved – through discipline, education & direction. So lately, I’ve been thinking about the idea of soul training. If we think about our souls as the combination of our mind, will and emotion, then soul training would be the training of our mind & thoughts, the training of our emotions and the training of our will. So with this idea of training, it begs the question, “Who does the training?” For me, I’ve decided that the training of my soul is through the Holy Spirit, using lots of different tools including the Bible, people, situations, etc. I don’t want to be a victim of my emotions or my thoughts or my will. I want to be trained by & domesticated to the Holy Spirit. I find that soul training is less painful when I cooperate rather fight the process.
Its interesting to take a step away & look “objectively” at our desires. I think that we often get so wrapped up in achieving our desires that we neglect to consider what is motivating the desires that we have. Sometimes, you can tell alot about a person by the things they like & desire. For example, when I look at myself lately, I find that I’m very interested in deeper conversations & things that feel shallow to me at the present are very unappealing. In fact, I had a very superficial & short conversation today w someone that I’ve known for a really long time. When I got off the phone, almost the entire conversation felt like a slap in the face, I guess because I had been hoping for a discussion at greater depths.
So my take away is this: I think my desire for greater depths could possibly be a beckoning from God to move away from the shallows & into the depths w Him. Maybe the call of the wild seems wild to my soul because it is God beckoning to the depths in my heart to embark on deeper adventures with Him. I think that we need to be careful not to mistranslate our desires into shallow soul pursuits that distract us from genuinely spiritual destinations.
Probably one of my favorite verses in the Bible is Ps 42:7 – deep calls to deep & Your waves have swept over me (sarah paraphrase).