This excerpt is from John's new book Get Your Life Back, releasing on February 11. When you pre-order the book, you'll receive several free gifts — including the first few chapters and a one-hour video teaching from John about everyday practices for your soul in a world gone mad. After you pre-order, go to JohnEldredge.com and fill out the form to receive these gifts.
It’s human nature to want our problems to simply go away. Be honest now—how many of us have heard a troubling tick, tick, tick or thump, thump, thump coming from the general direction of our car’s engine or transmission and not done a thing about it, hoping it would just go away? We do this with our health all the time—that painful little hitch, the lump, the troubling indigestion, those few extra pounds cry for our attention, but we let it pass for months or even years, hoping it will magically sort itself out.
How much more our souls. In this busy, mad, distracted world, it’s just too easy (and far more efficient) to send your soul to the back of the bus. Low priority. Maybe later. But you, my reader, have read this far, and I'm so proud of you! You’re making the hard choices that will bear fruit for years and years to come.
So ... next step. Let’s talk about neglected places in your soul.
I’m beginning the conversation with neglected loss, disappointment, and grief not because these are the main issues in any person’s life, but because these are the things we tend to run from. Of course we do. We run from pain, run back to our normal lives, try to pretend we aren’t bereaved, bereft, whatever the loss may be. Problem is, we are running from huge tracts of our own soul, leaving them behind, and then we can’t find more of God because we are looking with so little of our own soul.
It takes more of you to find more of God.
We often can’t find the more of God we long for, because we are looking with so little of ourselves. Too much of us has been left behind. Just as the assault on our attention keeps pushing us into the shallows, so that we no longer hear deep calling unto deep, the pace of life rushes us past significant moments of disappointment and loss, and in doing so continues the “shallowfication” of our souls. We are like eroded stream banks, a little more shaved off every year. Or like the lonesome hero in “Desperado,” who was losing all his “highs and lows” as his feelings simply went away.
So this is a good place to push back. We may have neglected our soul’s need for beauty. We may have neglected our soul’s need for play. But I have reason to believe that unattended loss is a good place to start if you would recover and heal the vessel God wants to fill, if you would open up room in your life for him to meet you there.