“We are all governed by an Overwhelming Positive Passion.”- Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods
John Ortberg begins Chapter 6 (“It’s the Nature of the Soul to Need”) of Soul Keeping by stating that the soul is vulnerable because it is needy. If we try to meet that need with anything other than God, life will be difficult at best.
Pastor Ortberg notes that Thomas Aquinas once wrote that the nature of the soul to need is a pointer to God. While we are limited in virtually every way, it is only the soul that has unlimited desire. Pastor Ortberg explains:
“The truth is, the soul’s infinite capacity to desire is the mirror image of God’s infinite capacity to give. . . . The unlimited neediness of the soul matches the unlimited grace of God.”
Yet neediness is not our soul’s problem. The problem is our fallenness. Instead of our need pointing us to God, in our fallenness we fasten ourselves to other sources of devotion. The Bible calls this idolatry. Idolatry, the author adds, is a sin we commit every day: “It is the sin of he soul meeting its needs with anything that distances it from God.”
Sheer will power cannot enable the soul to give up its idol. We can’t replace an idol by turning away from something. Through God’s grace, we can turn toward something. The soul must orbit around something it can worship.
Today’s question: Following your vocation loss, what has been your Overwhelming Positive Passion? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the new Short Meditation, “The disciplines of patience”