The last few months have been a mess of kids and sunscreen and laundry and dishes, and in all of it … I forgot.
I forgot my soul.
My littles were up early and my bigs were up late and there weren’t schedules or quiet minutes or any space untouched by the lives of four kids, BUT then they went to school.
I dropped them off. I SHOWERED?! (A sorely missed activity.) I put on real, presentable clothing and I sat down at my desk, in the quiet of the morning and …
I felt a little lost. There was work. Lots of work. Words needing to be written, things to approve, emails to return.
But my heart sank and I wondered why none of it felt like it used to …
Eventually all dreams that move forward become real work. And no calling, no matter how compelling the cause, ever fills the soul.
It was one of the days you know you feel sad but you don’t know why.
Emotions make terrible destinations but very helpful compasses. So I followed the feeling and found some things that I hope are helpful to you.
The only way to do the things God has called you to do, the only way we keep doing them with joy and pure hearts and compassion, is we must build and sustain …
a private world.
A private world is the space you create only for you and God … the words you read, the prayers you pray, the thoughts you think.
We can not coast on grand visions or the need around us or people’s approval.
Striving people have everything to lose and joy is scarce and motives are mixed and fear is great because their world is built on fleeting things that are easy to lose.
If you sincerely love God and seek to follow Him, the enemy is doing everything he can (right this second) to make you subtly believe …
your public world is more important than your private world.
your own team is your competition.
your success depends on worldly measurements.
your importance is tied to your performance.
I haven’t even seen all the Miley Cyrus hoopla from her hosting the VMAs—only heard the rumblings of it existing—and I can’t help but think her actions are only a product of the lie we all are subtly being persuaded to believe …
We must be noticed to be important.
We must be important to be fulfilled.
We must be fulfilled, so whatever we have to do to get there—do it!
But Jesus works so backward from the world and the lies in it …
Your soul is most fulfilled when you are doing nothing important and no one is noticing.
Your soul is actually most full and steady in the small quiet moments on closet or bedroom floors where you pray, or comfy chairs where you keep your Bible, or cars where you worship God with Hillsong up so loud you can’t hear yourself singing.
Time. Time with Jesus actually helps our wild souls be still and remember the incredible story we are part of and causes our identities to feel very secure, to the point that no other identity is needed. We hear the subtle lies and remember they are lies.
If you are reading this … you have a public world. You have some form of social media, you surf the web or you subscribe to blogs.
Our public worlds are built to drain us … know it, and as a generation we must fight harder than every generation before us to build and keep a private world.
Do not be deceived or confused, our joy or our lack of it is a product of where we most spend our time and thoughts and energy.
How are you going to build this space? Or how do you already do it?
(Some of you still have littles at home … here is a suggestion for you. Prioritize a few hours a week to get time alone. Get creative, budget or ask for help. But after the summer, I see I cannot go weeks without time to pray and think and study ever again. This is what is … it’s work but it is worth it!)