Soul-Life, the Holy Spirit, and the Risky Invitation of God
I decided that I am a creative and I decided that my creativity is worth exploration and intentional investment. I am finding the freedom to say yes to the creative impulses that have been in me my entire life. After college, I was so hampered down by the pressures to “get a good job” and to conform to the more “mature and serious way” that I lost my ability to say yes to the risky, creative ventures that make me come alive. But this blog and the creative work of reimaging community have been two of the most life-giving endeavors of young adulthood so far.
Yesterday I listened to the most recent Robcast where Rob Bell interviews his friend Kent Dobson. The entire podcast was interesting, but the last 6-8 minutes were gold. Kent talked about the difference between the true self and the false self, and the difference between the ego and the soul. A person’s ego is the part of them that gets things done in the world. The ego writes the book, starts the business, sets up the meetings and goes after the dream. But without the direction of the soul, the ego mindlessly builds without any deep revelation. The soul is that gut instinct that tells you when you’ve struck the right chord within. It’s not hyper-rational, but if you have any self-awareness, you can feel when your soul is coming alive. Normally its confirming those risky dreams inside of you. For me, as I’ve experienced regeneration through the life of the Holy Spirit, those soul impulses sound and feel a lot like God.
While in college, I was taught to believe in the risky, sacrificial journey of following Jesus. I was taught how to listen to the Holy Spirit and how to obey even the most absurd directions. But as I mentioned earlier, something about adulthood and the need to “grow up” and “get it together” numbed my sensitivity to those soul impulses. The Holy Spirit is often likened to the wind – it blows and we can’t see it, but we can feel it. And its miserable to be locked inside watching the wind blow in the trees but to not feel it on your face or at your back, pushing you into the purposes and will of God.
Ultimately, this morning I’m reflecting on the life-giving, risky invitation of God to creatively and sacrificially live and move in the world. I’m reflecting on how easy it is to use the language of “responsibility” as code for, “I’m actually just too afraid to try that.” And I’m inspired to keep surrounding myself with voices and ideas that nudge me towards living out my truest identity – even if I’m afraid.
One of my greatest sources of challenge and motivation as I've been processing this was a podcast interview my pastors did with Donna and Jamie Winship a few months ago. The link is here. Check it out.
Also, I’d encourage you to get alone with yourself and with God over the next few days and to spend time learning how to listen to your soul. We live in a culture that praises the work of the ego, one that celebrates loud accomplishments and public success. But those celebrations and praises, the voices of the crowd and of expectations, drown out the God-given, Holy Spirit-infused nudges within us. The nudges are quiet, still and small. And the journey back to those childlike, trusting and bold places takes time. So make some. Your life, your community, your sense of well-being and purpose, are well worth the time.
That's all for now folks.
Live boldly and love deeply today.