I think often of soulfulness. I want soulful faith. I want more than mere robotic obedience; I want passion and fire and depth. I want an overflowing heart like a spring. To this end, I try to be mindful of things that stir my soul.
From one spiritual hobo to another, let me offer three simple ideas that have been helpful to me for stirring my soul. I hope these ideas will be helpful for you too.
1. Enter Service
Spiritual dryness for me sometimes comes from a lack of connection to real needs and real problems. I can be too busy, too distracted. I can fly too high and be out of touch, insulated. But when I enter service, when I enter the trenches and rub shoulders with those in need, my soul awakens. When I am simply and literally serving another person, I slow down to the speed of real life, and as a result, people “get on me.” I am effected. I am stirred.
2. Enter Song
Music was once my muse. Whole albums once described me. They marked my days, but somewhere in the process of growing up, I began to neglect music. Yet, the power of song remains. David played music to soothe Saul. Elisha called for a musician as he prophesied (2 Kings 3:15). It seems God, the one who gives songs in the night (Psalm 42:8, Job 35:10), has wired us in such away that music would both stir and vent our souls, even as we glorify Him.
3. Enter Story
When Nathan the prophet needed to breakthrough King David’s spiritual blindness, he told a story. When Jesus wanted to describe the love of the Father he told a story about a father. Before theology systematized, a story unfolded first. We are people of that story. We are people of the story. We were made for story. We serve the God of word and story. When I am thin-souled, sometimes it is because I have lingered too long over theory and how-to. But story always stirs my soul. Biography, Old Testament, the Gospels, Acts, testimonies, and the like, they all go a long way to revive my soul, bring tears to my eyes, and stir my affections.
Of course, other means of grace abound, but these few ideas have proved fruitful for me most recently. How about you?
What stirs your soul? Any recommendations?