Many of you will be aware that I have been reading a former curate Tracey Bateson’s book entitled Keep Wrestling. One of the many encouragements that Tracey mentions is to: ‘Make time to feed our souls!’ How do we achieve this admirable aim?
In his ‘whatever’ passage, the apostle Paul suggests, ‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things and the God of peace will be with you.’ (Philippians 4:8)
The Christian way of life is not about ‘doing’ lots of things, e.g. attending church so many times a week, reading so much of the Bible every day, praying for a certain length of time, and so on. It is about ‘being’, i.e. being secure in our place as children of the living God. It is about surrendering ourselves to God’s grace and mercy. It is about ‘feeding our souls’.
Mel and I have been thinking about practical ways of ‘feeding our souls’ and here are a few for your consideration:
- On a walk in the countryside take in the beauty of creation, rather than talking about mundane matters of life.
- Spend more time reading a Christian book, e.g. Soul Keeping by John Ortberg, rather than reading the latest fictional book by our favourite author.
- Reduce the time watching TV (in my case less late night sports coverage!).
- Listen to Christian music or inspirational talks in the car, rather than endless debates and supposition about the latest news item.
- Observe a youngster at church responding in awe to worship or watch the wonder of a young child discovering a new skill, ability or sensation.
As we move into a season of lighter and longer days, rather than filling them with endless jobs, chores and entertainment, may we find ways of ‘feeding our souls’ and take a lead from St Augustine whose prayer was:
‘You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.’
Andy McPherson, vicar