John Eldredge – counselor, teacher, and president of Ransomed Heart Ministries – recently published Get Your Life Back: Practices for a World Gone Mad. In the Introduction, John takes note of life’s blistering pace. Our frantic, volatile world wilts the soul. As a result, that wilting makes it almost impossible to receive the life God pours forth. But in the midst of our harsh world, God approaches us with gentleness. Thus, we need to put ourselves in place to receive His help. Hence, John suggests the practice of the One Minute Pause. The pause helps the soul cooperate and settle down. Furthermore, the practice opens us space and breathing room for God to meet you right there. And the cumulative effect reshapes the pace of your day.
In addition, through benevolent detachment, you gain the ability to let things go and walk away. More so emotionally and soulfully than physically. It’s a timely grace. Above all, let things go because you’re not God. Also, as you practice this release, you create soul space. Most significantly, God meets you in this sacred space. With today’s insistent, unrelenting assault on our attention, it’s crucial to give God our attention. Because the way you treat your own heart signals the way you’ll treat everyone else’s heart. So, to build a beautiful life, do the little things on a daily basis. For the rescue of the soul takes place through engagement with the real world. God created us to draw life, joy, and strength from it. In the process we reach for restoration. Instead of immediate and within- our- grasp relief.
However, John cautions, a hidden danger exists — the stubborn life of the Self. Not submitted nor surrendered to Christ, the Self Life in us so easily takes offense. Even enjoys doing so. Consequently, the trap door of the Self enables Satan to gain inside access. Certainly, then, the Self functions as a mighty poor savior and an utterly empty god. Therefore, it’s a glorious relief to get rid of the exalted Self and begin to get your life back. Also, when you act like your losses matter, you start to practice kindness. Indeed, John observes, unattended loss is a good place to start in your quest to recover and heal the vessel God wants to fill.
Yet, the author counsels, you can’t stand at a distance and ask Christ to deal with it. Because the door to your soul opens from the inside. Moreover, John underscores, we need to muster, set ourselves to, and practice belief. Our most precious possession consists of faith in God. Hence, we must move the function of belief from experience to conviction as we pursue a sustaining grace. The daily experience of more of God in more of us. For the fruit of the Spirit flows from our union with God. Finally, John closes with this blessing from Isaac of Stella:
‘”May the Son of God, who is already formed in you, grow in you, so that for you he will become immeasurable, and that in you he will become laughter, exaltation, the fullness of joy which no one can take from you.”