“Is it possible for people to miss their lives in the same way one misses a plane” Walker Percy asks in his novel “The Second Coming.” His character, Will Barrett wonders if he has “missed” his life. “Not once in his entire life had he allowed himself to come to rest in the quiet center of himself but has forever cast himself forward from some dark past he could not remember to a future which did not exist. Not once had he been present for his life. So his life has passed like a dream.” This is the sad commentary of many men in our culture, not being present to their lives
Men, we should never allow ourselves to passively neglect our soul life. Our default mode is to “sleep through life.” Jesus live at the center waiting for us to pay attention to his voice and presence. We can live a life of frantic activity, while neglecting the cry of our souls for attention. We can live all of our days “asleep” to who we really are and can be in Christ. My prayer is that you might be a “soulful man.” In our day the church needs men who are “soulful,” that is, men who are fully alive, fully human, living authentic lives of integrity because they live from the center and not on the surface of life. They are strong in spirit because they are soulful.
Listen again to the words of Jesus in Matt 16:24-26, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” (NLT). Jesus is very clear – if we hang onto our view of life, we will lose it. You will not know who you are. But if we give up, that is, let go of the controls, we will save our life. Do you feel sometimes that you are losing your life? Not knowing who you really are as a man, is a sure sign that you are losing your life. Ask yourself, “What am I becoming?” Even more haunting is the question, “What have I become in my primary relationships?” These question are soulful questions. They are the kind of questions that are asking us to walk up to what our soul is saying to us.
I strongly exhort each man reading this blog not to be afraid of their soul life. Yes, you might have fear and anxiety about what is there. But never forget, that Jesus waits for you at the center. He knows what is there, but is now waiting for you to go with him into those hidden places to bring the light of his presence. I close with this wonderful prayer from Paul in Eph. 3:18-19, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted an established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”