The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Soul Searching

Over the course of the last month, I have heard (of) more people needing to do some "soul searching" than ever. Such a rich coupling of words. I don't take this quest lightly.

Maybe it's something this particular season brings out in us. Given such a powerful reason to celebrate, in return we want to ensure we are doing our best to meet any expectations or decisions in our lives.

Maybe we want to ensure we are living out the plan as we should be. We are scared of that awesome phenomenon known to be Freewill.

Or maybe, as with many words nowadays the term Soul Searching has just become trite.



Less meaningful than it's original intent.

If the Soul is defined as...
  • the emotional part of human nature
  • high-mindedness
  • noble warmth of feeling, spirit, or courage, etc
And Searching is defined as...
  • examining carefully or thoroughly
  • acutely observant or penetrating
Then Soul Searching is, at it's core very rich in meaning.

Not to be taken lightly, jokingly, or carelessly.

Not to be done in a day.

Soul Searching...
  • the act or process of deep and penetrating analysis of oneself, to determine one's true motives and sentiments.
In our world of "easy come easy go" employment, virtual friendships (facebook, twitter, hotmail, blogger!). And in an era where we can basically subsist without leaving the confines of our four walls, we need to tread lightly when so loosely using terms such as Soul Searching.

We have become lazy.

Lethargically claiming to be living our liturgy, while not actually doing so.

Soul Searching is perhaps an excuse we use to buy ourselves time, while trying to make sense of our lives. Maybe this idiom is a crutch of married words; used when we have lost sight of what we stand for, why we are doing what we are doing, why we buy this, use that, hang out with them, and immerse ourselves in the good, the bad, and the ugly.

What if it isn't maybe...just excuse?!

What do I think?

I think we need to be careful. Handling these two words like Grandmother's China Vase. Like a diamond or a newborn child, we need to take heed and watch how loosely we throw words around. They've become musty through overuse. It's sad but I've heard them used often enough that they are nearly void and I don't pay them much attention. Unfortunate isn't it.

Earlier this year we made the decision to complete our family through Adoption. I wouldn't say we did a lot of Soul Searching. We did a lot of Thinking. We did a lot of Talking. We did a lot of Praying. But what we really did a lot of was Waiting. Being Silent and Listening for Direction.

And, I think we sometimes confuse ourselves. We should be silent and listening for that still, small voice. It's not soul searching. Well maybe in a way it is, but there's a much bigger picture than just ourselves. And while there are definitely times to be selfish - we need to guard our hearts, we need to keep our own time for ourselves, we need to stand firm in our beliefs - we also must take ownership and responsibility for who we are and what we are doing with our lives.

Who we are is up to us.

What we do is our decision.

Why we live the way we live is because of choices we have made along the way.

Soul Searching, in my incredibly unprofessional opinion is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. It is pivotal in our lives. It's a marked time upon which we reflect years down the road and know that in those moments we changed.

It doesn't have to do with the temporary, the transient, or the momentary.

Soul Searching
should be
Life Changing

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