Duration: 365 days
Today’s Bible Reading: Mark 6:30–56
What do you do to stay in shape? Hit the gym every morning? Strap on your Nikes and run a few miles? Bike to work?
Interestingly, we live in a world that encourages men to make their bodies strong but neglects their spirits. As a result, we too often work to build up our biceps but completely ignore our souls. We typically think of masculine strength as physical, but what if true strength comes from inside—from your soul and its connection to God? When was the last time you worked out to strengthen that part of your being?
Most of us know the stories of Jesus walking on water and feeding thousands. But we easily gloss over the way Jesus sought solitude to build up his spiritual strength. Yes, even Jesus needed to rest and renew. In fact, Jesus established a rhythm: He engaged and then disengaged; he served and then withdrew. In those quiet times Jesus took care of his soul by connecting with God and drawing life from him.
If Jesus demonstrated the importance of withdrawing into solitude, how much more do we need to set aside times of respite in our lives? Of course, our culture doesn’t help. Life moves so quickly that we can forget to tend our souls. But if you ignore your soul or pretend that you don’t have one, you’ll face problems. Just as your body sends you all kinds of uncomfortable signals when you neglect it physically, so will your soul. Obsessions, irritations, addictions, broken relationships—often these troubles point to a neglected soul.
Take time to be alone and make yourself utterly available only to yourself and to God. Connect with him—and in doing so take care of your soul.
To Take Away
- What do you tend to do when you are really stressed out? Are these activities more like escape mechanisms, or do they feed your soul and connect you to God?
- What signals does your soul send you when you neglect its care?
- Where can you go to be alone with God? When? Make a list of places and times you can exercise the habit of connecting with him.
Copyright © 2006 by Zondervan.