Friday, October 14, 2011

Heart and Soul

"I am come that they might have life...and have it more abundantly."
John 10:10

The air is brisk.  Perfect for a morning run with my girls. . . at least in my opinion.  Coaxing them out of their warm beds, their sleepy eyes fight the light as they search for tennis shoes and a sweatshirt.  They are not quite as eager for mornings as their crazy mom.  "Just one lap," I tell them in hopes of sparking interest.  (We are building up to four, just because . . . well, every kid needs to be able to run a mile.)

Our walk to the track is invigorating.  Soon we are skipping, each child seeking to outdo the other.  Once at the track they start sprinting, but quickly run out of energy and sneak in a walk. "No walking allowed!"  I continue to prod.  Before long our mission is accomplished.

These same daughters have a peculiar little habit.  Every Sunday they step out of the car and run the entire length of the sidewalk, (which is quite long), to Sunday School. They love their class.  I continually remind them that young ladies walk while at church. But on one of our early morning runs I told them, "Pretend you are going to Sunday School."  Groan. "Mommmm!" one wails.

What's the difference?  Heart and soul.  Not a matter of ability . . . but desire.

I recently sat in the bleachers at the same familiar track.  My eyes were drawn to the words on the back of a T-shirt.  Not just one shirt, but an entire band wearing the same shirts.  
It's not the hours you put in, but what you put into the hours.  
I was not surprised to learn that this band won that afternoon's competition. With a motto like that, who wouldn't be a winner?

These thoughts remind me of our spiritual lives. We've read our chapter of the Bible. We've said a prayer. But have we truly met with God?  Simply going through the motions lacks focus, desire, passion . . . but if I place my whole heart, soul, and mind into seeking after God, then those same disciplines accomplish their purpose of drawing me into the presence of God.

How then do we keep heart and soul in the hours of our walk with God? Becoming interested in the things that interest God.  Encouragement.  Living life on purpose.  Living intentionally, not simply existing.

Every now and then I take inventory of my life and ask myself, "Why am I doing what I do?  For what purpose?  Is my heart and soul in what I do and who I am?  Am I building hope into the hearts of others to encourage their soul into living?"   If not, perhaps I am only putting in hours that could be better used elsewhere . . . futility.

I "do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air."  No, I would "run to win the prize. . . a crown that will last forever." (1st Cor. 9:24-26)  For this reason, "I press on to win the goal for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  (Phil.3:14)

Heart and soul . . . the stuff of life.


  1. Good thoughtful start to a beautiful day, Jewel.

  2. Lovely illustration of a powerful truth! So often I feel like I'm running aimlessly, arms flailing in the air! ... I want to be focused and running with purpose. Thanks for the reminder to invite God into that challenge, rather than trying to get my act together before coming to Him!