John Ortberg concludes Chapter 11 of Soul Keeping by discussing the fourth and final phase of The Cycle of Grace- Achievement. He describes this phase as follows:
“To achieve- to bear fruit- is crucial to the soul. But fruitfulness is just as much a matter of grace as acceptance is. The fruitful soul is also a Sabbath-soul.”
In the Genesis account of creation, God rested on the seventh day. Old Testament scholar John Walton states that the creation story is set against a backdrop of sacred space. Just as Genesis sets up a seven-day framework for creation, sacred palaces and royal temples were inaugurated during festivals lasting seven days. This was symbolic of the king’s victory over his enemies. The king could rest on his throne.
When God rested, He wasn’t taking the day off. When the universe was the way God intended it to be, He could rest- delighted with His work. To remain healthy, our souls need solitude- with no agenda, noise, or distractions- as Pastor Ortberg explains:
“When your soul is at rest, it occupies the throne of your life. Your will is undivided and obeys God with joy. Your mind has thoughts of truth and beauty. You desire what is wholesome and good.”
The Cycle of Grace enables our soul to demonstrate achievement- bearing fruit.
Today’s question: How do you make space for solitude in the midst of life’s busy-ness? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Ten Utterances”