Be Still, My Soul
When we thinking of stilling ourselves, it is very typical to think of being physically unmoving. Though we are rarely able to accomplish this sort of stillness outside of sleep, there is another stillness that I find to be far more essential and advantageous in the long run.
It is the stillness of your soul.
As a society, we have become increasingly successful at ignoring or glazing over the cries of our souls. Sometimes very loud, sometimes very painful, but always very clear, our souls speak our sincerest of needs.
Underneath the body, the job, the activities, the relationships, the smiles and the appearance of happiness and contentment, there is a soul that is longing to be fulfilled. So many things we try to fill ourselves up with, but none of these can plunge down to the depths of our souls.
There is no amount of popularity I can gain that will quench my soul’s thirst for love.
There is no amount of friends I can have that will fulfill my soul’s desire for belonging.
There is no amount of activities I can be involved in that will meet my soul’s need for purpose.
There is no amount of stuff I can purchase that will satisfy my soul’s craving for approval.
Our lives were never meant to be a constant search for meaning, love and value; God did all of that before we were born. He created us then He blessed us and He knew us before He made us. We were born with approval, belonging, love and purpose, and the only way that we will find it again is if we cut down the thrones of the things that we have made to be idols, and bring our souls back under subjection of God.
I’ve noticed that all of the doing and working and buying and entertaining and planning in the world cannot still my soul. With the body, when it craves food, water or relief from the elements, there is a place we can go or something we can put inside to satisfy it. The same is true with our souls, but the issue is that we have been feeding our souls the wrong things.
You know the plastic toys that children are often given that are shaped like food? Would you eat that as a meal? No. For most people, the non-nutritive and harmful nature of these objects is very clear and we would not dare use them for nutrition and sustenance.
With our souls though, we consistently eat harmful things. We feed our souls with productivity (read: busyness), perfectionism, outer beauty, popularity, consumerism and titles, all with the goal of receiving lasting gratification.
If I can just do X Y and Z, I will be happy.
If X happens I am successful.
If X does Y, I am loved.
None of this means anything to your soul, and that is the compass for your life. If your compass is broken, how will you get to your destination?
In order to still your soul, you have to give it what it needs.
Steal away to a quiet place and meet yourself there. Get to know yourself and determine what your needs are. Like David, converse with your soul and begin to cut through the layers to reveal the most authentic piece of you.
When you’ve found it, tend to it. Promise yourself that you will listen to yourself and make a deliberate decision to find real satisfaction. God will satisfy you, and He will use what He has prepared for you to fulfill you, but you must be determined to let it. Whether God has purposed you for marriage, singleness, friendship, employment, pastoring, missions or something else, be committed to feeding your soul.
Your flesh will never be satisfied, the world is set up for people to forever chase a dream, but your soul can be still in its purpose. Be committed to stilling your soul.