When Your Soul Has Other Ideas
Your soul waits like a deer. It hides and fears. Your ego controls the first half of life. Until your soul can’t take it anymore and must make itself known, because it thirsts. “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God” (Psalm 42:1). During the first half of life, your ego attempts to answer the demands of the world. The world demands that we get good grades, a good job, a nice family, a fine ministry, a comfortable home, etc. The soul waits in the dark woods patiently for you to come to your senses, and if you don’t, then it makes itself known.
I don’t know why some Christians think so little of their souls, especially when Jesus makes such a big deal out of them. Jesus said the whole world wasn’t worth just one human soul (Matt. 16:26). In the church world, although we acknowledge that we have souls, we treat them as if they were a small dog on a leash, which we lead around our whole lives, taking them where we want to take them.
But what if C.S. Lewis was right: we are not bodies with souls, but souls with bodies? What if our souls were not tiny dogs on a leash, but 200 ton blue whales and we were the ones on the leash?
During the first half of your life, the miniscule ego acts like it’s in control, as it responds to the irreverent cackling of the world. But if you’re lucky, the whale will cause a crisis, reclaim control of the leash, and put you back on course.
Of course, at first, it will look like you're off course, careening violently to depths you’ve never been. But your soul knows what it’s doing. It’s trying to find its supreme desire, and set things back in order, as it migrates back to God.
We like to think that we’re living for a higher purpose, whenever we pursue the goals our ego has identified for us. But what if God calls us to listen to the humble soul? What if our ministry or our accomplishments were not the most valuable thing we possess, but what if the greatest price tag were attached to our souls?
God loves to use the weak and humble things of this world, rather than the strong and proud. He will strip us of the latter, in order to give life to the former.
If your soul is trying to get your attention, listen to it, before it’s too late. This is why we read Moby Dick, so we can better understand what's going on in our own depths. The soul causes symptoms to manifest in your life, restlessness, unwanted habits, unshakeable thoughts, and worse, until you start to listen to it. In one sense, even sins are symptoms of what’s going on within that you need to put right.
If your soul is the most valuable thing in this world, do you know what it is saying? What it wants? Are you paying attention to your soul?