How is it with your soul?
by Kathye Hamm
When I was a seminary student, one of my teachers used to check in with us with the question “How is it with your soul?”. It made me pause more than once and do a scan and check in on my soul – how was it, really? It is so easy to just answer ‘fine’ when asked “How are you?”, but “How is it with your soul” brings (at least to me) a deeper layer of engagement with myself before I answer.
So let that be my question to you this week – How is it with your soul? Where are you as an individual, as a leader, as a beloved child of God, as a disciple of Jesus? How about as a family member, partner, spouse, parent, child, friend? As a co-worker, supervisor, boss, or employee? There is a lot to ponder, and really getting in touch with the state of my soul takes time, often a deep breath, and some space and silence. It may take a moment, or it may take deeper reflection and conversation with a spiritual director, friend, or colleague. How is it with your soul? – it’s not a simple question, and there’s not a simple answer. When we take the time to ask, to check in, to respond, to listen, we can learn a lot about ourselves and others.
I also wonder: How is it with your ministry’s soul? How is the spirit of your gathered community, staff, leaders, clients, neighbors and friends? When was the last time you took time to breathe deeply together and ask that question as a community? It can be hard to imagine fitting this in the midst of all of the worship and tasks and meetings and programs and planning and events and fellowship and service and… But, I wonder what it would be like to take that time, to breathe together and check in with ourselves individually, and as a community and then really listen to each other as we share the joy, struggle, energy, exhaustion, grief, celebration, confusion, and everything else that is going on in our lives together? Would that time inform the tasks and meetings and programs and planning and events and fellowship and service and… ?
I suspect that if we are able to check in with our souls, individually and collectively, we may find that we learn a lot, come to more deeply appreciate ourselves and others, and maybe, just maybe find the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking into our lives and our communities and ministries leading us into new ways of being in the world. I get the press of the schedule and the tasks (I’m writing this as I should be running out the door to a meeting), but when we don’t take that time, we miss opportunities to let God speak into our lives and ministries and to breathe new life into our souls.
Take a chance, ask someone this week “How is it with your soul?” and be prepared to listen.
God’s peace to you~
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