John Ortberg dedicates Soul Keeping to the late Dallas Willard (1935-2013), noted Christian author and long-time professor of philosophy at USC. Soul Keeping is based on what Pastor Ortberg learned over the years as he sought Dallas’ wisdom in understanding the human soul.
Dallas once gave the following advice when John expressed dissatisfaction with his outer world. It is sage advice for us as well:
“You are an unceasing spiritual being with an eternal destiny in God’s great universe. That’s the most important thing for you to know about you. . . . God has yet to bless anyone except where they actually are. Your soul is not just something that lives on after your body dies. It’s the most important thing about you. It is your life.”
When we think about how our life is going, most likely we think about our outer world, a world of reputation and appearance. How much we have and what others think is of primary importance. We believe improving our circumstances will bring happiness.
Dallas once wrote about a tiny child who crept into his father’s bedroom because he couldn’t sleep without the knowledge of his father’s presence to take away his loneliness. The tiny child would ask, “Is your face turned toward me, Father?”
Like Pastor Ortberg, we want to know that our soul is not alone. We want to know that our Father’s face is turned toward us.
Today’s question: As you travel on your desert, transitional journey, are you certain that your Father’s face is turned toward you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Soul language”