How would you score your soul these days:
Are you happy most of the time?
How often do you feel lighthearted?
Are you excited about your future?
Do you feel deeply loved?
When was the last time you felt carefree?
I know, it’s not even fair to ask. Our souls are bleary, seared, smeared. Still able to love, yes; still able to hope and dream. But at the end of any given day, most people come home in a state of exhaustion. Numb on our good days, fried more often than we admit. “I feel all thin, sort of stretched,” as Bilbo said, “like butter that has been scraped over too much bread.”
The world has gone completely mad, and it’s trying to take our souls with it.
Now, if we had more of God, that would really help. We could draw upon his love and strength, his wisdom and resilience. After all, God is the fountain of life (Psalm 36:9). If we had more of his lavish life bubbling up in us, it would be a rescue in this soul-scorching hour.
But this frantic, volatile world constantly wilts the soul, dries it out like a raisin, making it almost impossible to receive the life God is pouring forth.
That’s called a double bind.
I tried to find more of God, knowing if I only had a greater measure of his life in me, I’d be able to navigate this rough terrain. I was practicing the usual stuff–prayer, worship, scripture, sacrament. But still I felt ... I don’t know ... shallow somehow. Sipping God with teaspoons, not drinking great gulps; wading, not swimming. My soul felt like a shallow rain puddle. But I know the soul isn’t a shallow puddle at all; it’s deep and vast, capable of symphonies and heroic courage. I wanted to be living from those deep places.