Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What kind of place is my soul?

This year is the 50th anniversary of the deaths of Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, Roger Youderian and Nate Saint. In case you don't know the story, these five set out to make contact with an isolated tribe in the Ecuadorian jungle. Their desire and determination to reach these people with the good news of Jesus Christ cost them their lives.
I decided it was time I read Shadow of the Almighty a biography of Jim Elliot by his wife Elisabeth. I've had a copy of the book for years, but never read it through. Now seemed like the right time.
This is a quote from the book:
Strange place, this soul of mine. I think it is more place than person. It rings with whatever enters, be it high thoughts of the seated Christ or idle rhymes from any poet. The soul does not seem to mind what it is occupied with, but only cares that it be kept occupied. It is passive as to choice. I choose, my soul responds, with ringing laughter, emotion, or pure worship. It is a tool, not a craftsman, and must be controlled... The choice is mine.
Shadow of the Almighty p109
What do I allow to occupy my soul?
It is my heart's desire to make God smile, but I wonder how much time my soul is occupied with other things, other less important things than this. This isn't about feeling guilty, it's more to do with a simple question of alignment. In the book Out of their faces and into their shoes, John Kramp explores the concept of lostness. He says: Lost is life's default mode. In other words, do nothing and you usually end up lost. It takes effort of some kind to not be lost. And it surely takes effort to occupy the soul with thoughts of making God smile.
It certainly doesn't come naturally.

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