“How is it going with your soul?” The first question of my retreat last week and one that has lived with me since. My immediate response to this question was to see myself sitting under a lovely shady fig tree, a sign of well-being in the Old Testament (Micah 4.4) but alongside the tree was a lovely flowing stream but sadly in the stream was lots of rubbish polluting it. So my answer to the question was that deep down my soul was good but there were distractions and pollution around me that I needed to pay attention to. Being on retreat was an opportunity to pay attention to some of those things and my post last week on being still was part of this.
Since returning home I have been playing my CD of monks chanting quite a lot as even though I don’t always make out the words it somehow nurtures my soul! I have also been having some conversations around rhythm of life and spiritual companionship and realize how grateful I am that Paul and I learnt fairly early on in our ministry and married lives together that nurturing our souls was important. Over the years I have tried all sorts of things to help nurture my soul and connect me to God. Although there is a bit of me that lives in my head a lot of the time, I do appreciate using my senses so at the moment glancing at the vase of daffodils and the faint scent of them as I walk into the lounge reminds me of a wonderful baptism service on Sunday – a sign of new life. Sitting where I pray I can hear the birds sing and I realize that in the silence there are so many different ways that God can speak.
My post on Wednesday, Tomorrow starts the night before, was another part of the processing what happened on retreat by naming one of the things that is a distraction for me, thinking unhelpfully about a future event before it happens. Sometimes for me naming an issue helps me become more aware of it and putting it out in the public domain means that others can ask me how I am doing with it.
So if I were to ask you “How is it going with your soul?” what would your answer be?