Thursday, January 17, 2013

How Is It with Your Soul?

Image courtesy of Jmdodge

I meet regularly with a few friends and we ask one another an important question. We ask, “How is it with your soul?” In other words, at the core of your being ... what is going on? We ask the question every time we meet for lunch because we have promised to “watch over one another in love.”

The question actually comes from the 18th Century Anglican priest and leader of the Methodist movement, John Wesley. And the hour or two we spend together every month has become one of the most important times of our lives.

How is it with your soul? That is a vital question. With other people I may ask, “How are you doing?” “How is everything going?” Or, “What’s happening?” But when I’m with these four men, we try to be as honest as we can and tell each other what is really going on. How is it with your soul? It's a bigger question than, "How are you feeling?" It includes body, mind, spirit, relationships -- everything.

I love that question. It reminds me to check in with myself from time to time. And I appreciate that there are a few other people that really want to know.

So let me ask you -- how is it with your soul? And how would you answer these related questions?

1. Do you take time to FEED your soul?

Human beings need nourishment beyond the physical. I'm told that a hummingbird flaps its wings some 50-80 times a second. It must eat constantly to work that hard. It takes tremendous energy simply to live. We, too, must feed our minds and spirits as well as our bodies if we intend to be fully healthy. It may include prayer or meditation or the practice of other spiritual disciplines. Or taking classes and reading uplifting books. Or contacting an old friend. Without constant nourishment, our bodies, minds, spirits and even our relationships will grow weak and listless.

2. Do you REST your soul?

In our multi-tasking lives, sometimes the best thing we can do is to do nothing. I occasionally like nothing better than sitting quietly, listening to soft music and letting my soul be at peace. Charles Darwin said, "If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week." What rests your soul?

3. How do you CHEER your soul?

One of the greatest gifts you have been given is a gift of laughter. And it is a gift we can never use enough. My own experience is that when I feel down, disheartened and discouraged, the cause is not because of too much suffering; it is because of too little joy. Where I find joy, I find life.

So, how did you do with those questions? This may be a good time to check in with yourself.  Make sure you ask the big question: how it is with your soul?

Then listen carefully. Your soul may have something significant to tell you.

-- Steve Goodier

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Rev. Beth said...

Thank you so much for this! It is a great reminder. I have sent it to my other colleagues so that perhaps we might start asking each other the same question. Blessings, Rev. Beth (Prince Edward Island, Canada)

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