“What matters most is not the accomplishments you achieve; what matters is the person you become.”- Dallas Willard
John Ortberg begins Chapter 3 (“A Soul-Challenged World”) of Soul Keeping by stating that the cries of the soul are very real and what matters deeply about us. The fly in the ointment is that the material world does not teach us to pay attention to what really matters.
Resumes chronicle our achievements, not who we are deep in our soul. Furthermore, advertisements, possessions, and entertainment all, Pastor Ortberg notes, “inflame our desire to change our situation, while God waits to redeem our souls.” In the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-20), Jesus told a story about the importance of attending to your soul. It is the first of Jesus’ parables recoded in Mark’s gospel, and the one parable Jesus fully interpreted for His disciples.
Pastor Ortberg adds that in this parable, it’s helpful to note the variables and the constants. The seed is a constant, an illustration of God’s “desire and action to redeem souls.” The sower is another constant. The sower is generous with the seed, scattering it everywhere.
The soil is the variable. The author suggests that we might replace “soil” with the word soul. In subsequent blogs, Pastor Ortberg will discuss the hardened soul, the shallow soul, and the cluttered soul.
Today’s question: As you journey through your desert, land between time, how much time do you spend attending to your soul? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The hardened soul”