Morgan Snyder has an inspired way to filter all the things we commit and devote our time to. He suggests that we need to “soul-size our kingdoms”. Meaning that we all tend to commit to more things and try to cram more into our lives than our hearts and souls can manage. If we are in a state of overwhelm, exhaustion or living with very little margin to invest in the people we love or the activities that restore our soul, it is impossible to say, “it is well with my soul”. Put in the most basic of terms,
soul-sizing = doing only the things God wants me to do
Bottom line of ALL of this we’ve been talking about these past few weeks = you must learn a way to sustain your whole-heartedness in a world gone mad.
Choice is yours. Stay on the chaotic ride that is this world and you’re going to crash. The world doesn’t care about your soul and will do nothing to help you here. If you want to live whole-hearted, you’re going to need to be intentional. That is what Morgan is talking about – I have to make the choice to right-size or soul-size my kingdom. There are battles I cannot fight, work I can leave behind, demands I don’t have to meet.
More on this next week but too many of our souls look like this dried up sponge…
We’re so beaten up by the world, so frazzled, too many demands, too much to do, too much drama and we’re spent by the end of the day. Nothing to give. No Living Water in us. The goal is this …
that I am saturated by the Living Waters. That I have been so intentional to make space for the Holy Spirit, that I’ve communed with Jesus and taken in, taken in, taken in … that I now have much I can pour out on others.
Here are 5 tools to help you with this …
The One-Minute app from Ransomed Heart. As I type this, mine just went off reminding me to disengage from the world for a few minutes so I can connect with the Father. I have found this tool to be a real blessing as it “invades” my work two times a day and centers me back on the Father.
For me, the outdoors is incredibly healing. The single best thing I can do when I come home from work is go for a walk – take the dogs and walk…
The beauty of nature, the exercising of my body, inhaling the fresh air, being with my dogs – it restores me, calms me. It helps me leave work behind and reconnect with God. Most days at work, I will take 2-3 calls outside walking around my office park. I love to deer hunt, love to be in the woods. I’ve seen so many cool things. I adore red-tailed hawks. They are sacred animals to me. To see a big hawk or big owl flying through the trees hunting is breathtaking. I am a better man after I’ve had some time outside.
Benevolent detachment. Mark 1, Jesus’ ministry is getting going, He’s healing people and the crowds are coming. Early in the morning, Jesus gets up early and goes off to pray. Simon comes to Jesus and says the crowds are here, let’s go do this! Jesus replies, “Let’s leave”. He just walks away. He has the capacity to just let things go. To not be ruled by need, crisis or heartbreak. Benevolent = kind. It’s kind to them and it is kind to you for you to let it go and detach from their drama. It is saying and meaning, “I can’t Jesus. You can.”
To benevolently detach – the ability to let it go, walk away – not so much physically but emotionally and soulfully. Detachment means getting untangled, stepping out of the quagmire. It means getting some healthy distance. Benevolent means kindness. It means something done in love. Jesus is inviting us into a way of living where we are genuinely comfortable turning things over to Him.
You can benevolently detach from people as well. There are certain people I cannot engage with too deeply. There are some problems I cannot fix. It is benevolent – it is kind. It’s not being a jerk. It’s kind. It’s healthy. This will be helpful for you tomorrow at Thanksgiving. When you feel the tension level rising, when your brother or brother-in-law starts in on you, when your Mother-in-law starts it … it is OK to excuse yourself and walk outside. Just go grab some fresh air. Breathe. “Jesus, I give everyone and everything to You.” Release them. They are temporary. He is eternal.
Play – Morgan Snyder tells this story about a visit to Hawaii on a long overdue family vacation. Early in the trip, they went to dinner at Sam Ainslie’s house. Sam is a Board member at Ransomed Heart. When Morgan got there, he heard the lawnmower going in the backyard. He went out on the back patio and saw Sam riding his mower around in crazy, zig-zag, round-about, wavy lines. When Sam finished, Morgan asked him what he was doing. Sam replied, “I was … playing”. Morgan had no file in his head for playing. It made no sense to him. Morgan had become so driven, so “I must come through”, so “get it done, no matter the cost to himself” that he’d lost the category of play. His sponge was completely dried out. He had lost the capacity to play and to rest.
So, I encourage you to … play.
Sabbath – this is a new category for me, one I’ve yet to fully implement but it is fantastically restoring. On the 7th day, the LORD rested. It’s OK. You don’t have to be “on” 24/7. You can take a day off. You can rest. The world won’t encourage it. Who cares? It’s my life and my soul and I need to create a habitat where my soul can thrive.
This post is long so I will save the details on Sabbath for the next post but if you can, try to practice some Sabbath this weekend. Find some time to just rest. No agenda. Just rest.