GodReflection: Is It Well with My Soul?
“Who can plumb its depths? And yet it is a faculty of my soul. Although it is part of my nature, I cannot understand all that I am.” ― Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
The Book of Genesis opens with a song. In this Song of Creation sung in Genesis chapter one is the overview of the beginnings of the heavens, our earth and its inhabitants.
With Genesis chapter two Moses introduces in greater detail humankind and their new home. From the first both man and woman were designed by God to live eternally.
The more literal word for word translations describe our origin in these words:
And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
I like the way the Amplified Bible translates God’s act:
Then the Lord God formed [that is, created the body of] man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being [an individual complete in body and spirit].
I must declare with Augustine, I cannot understand all that I am.
Here is what I think.
I don’t know to what extent I had spirit or soul while I resided in my mother’s womb. I have a tendency to think that it was after the journey through the birth canal when Dr. Pate whacked me on the back (or was it the bottom) that I took in the breath of life, cried out and became a living soul.
Although my DNA was God-wired over nine months there is a sense my soul and body started its experiential and formational trek called life from the moment of that first breath when I wailed in protest to all within earshot. My guess is that is when I started to be me.
My soul was in place. It was the me who God desired for eternal companionship. My soul was the me who held the power to forfeit itself (Mark 8:36) or the power to invite Jesus to move in and prepare it for eternity with the Holy. My soul was and is my essence.
The best I can tell my God assignment is to use my soul as a compass to navigate life. I am to submit to Father, Son and Spirit to make my soul a worthy home for their company.
From that home comes whatever motivation and resources I might have to serve those the Holy draws into my path. My soul is the me God uses to minister to those within the sphere of my world.
Is there a chance we would take better care of our soul if we saw it as our very essence—both present and eternal—rather than a nondescript “something” that resides in our body?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: My Soul is Me