How is it with your soul? That’s a question the Puritans asked each other in the 16th and 17th centuries. Today, if someone came up to you at the office water cooler and asked you how it was with your soul you might expect they’d be prying… but why? Why don’t we want to know how someone is doing with what the brilliant Christian writer Dallas Willard said was “the hinge on which the rest of your life hangs.”
Willard goes on to say “many souls are starved and unhealthy, unsatisfied by false promises of status and wealth. We’ve neglected this eternal part of ourselves, focusing instead on the temporal concerns of the world—and not without consequence.”
So, hey, it’s just you and me here, unless someone is looking over your shoulder while you’re reading…
How is it with your soul? Would you call yourself spiritually healthy?
Morris Dirks, who wrote a magnificent book entitled Forming the Leader’s Soul, notes that as leaders we often work under a set of unrealistic responsibilities, resulting in us never ending up helping people. We’re often emotionally drained, we neglect our spirituality, we’re often relationally isolated and even at times wonder who we are as a person. It’s no wonder our spiritual health could be running low.
Think about your last week. What kinds of things did you get involved in? Helping employees, solving conflicts, dealing with budget irregularities, predicting the future, assessing the present, creating vision, changing a vision, crafting your speech, crossing time zones, taking calls at 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., dealing with infected computer systems, figuring out who to hire or fire and so much more.
Leadership is demanding and our spiritual health can suffer.
This Fall from September 29 – October 2 in San Diego, we’re creating a bit of an island of peace and learning on the literal island of Coronado, California. It will be a place of rest, a time of reflection, a few days living in community discussing the big issues around your health as a leader.
It’s called Leadership Collab, and we’re focusing on your health as a leader because you’re too important to God’s Kingdom to burn out while doing good things. We’re going to talk about the health of your organization, the health of your soul, the health of your family, your emotional health, your spiritual health, the economic health of our world and even your sexual health (yes, you read that right).
Right now, before we have to run, why not start with a soul resting, health injecting, peace promoting moment right now, right where you are. (Don’t skip this part just because you might think, “I’ll skip the bible verse part”. This is the part that might help you hear the voice that’s been haunting you for months. It’s likely the voice of God asking you to live life at God’s pace, not the world’s)
These thoughts were penned by a leader who was busy just like you. He had just finished a big building project called The Tabernacle. His name? Moses. Here’s what he wrote down. See if you can listen for God’s voice speaking to your weary soul.
“We live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by the God who is above all gods. This I declare, that he alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him. For he rescues you from every trap and protects you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with his wings! They will shelter you. His faithful promises are your armor. Now you don’t need to be afraid of the dark anymore, nor fear the dangers of the day; nor dread the plagues of darkness, nor disasters in the morning. Though a thousand fall at my side, though ten thousand are dying around me, the evil will not touch me. I will see how the wicked are punished, but I will not share it. For Jehovah is my refuge! I choose the God above all gods to shelter me. How then can evil overtake me or any plague come near? For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will steady you with their hands to keep you from stumbling against the rocks on the trail. You can safely meet a lion or step on poisonous snakes, yes, even trample them beneath your feet! For the Lord says, “Because he loves me, I will rescue him; I will make him great because he trusts in my name. When he calls on me, I will answer; I will be with him in trouble and rescue him and honor him. I will satisfy him with a full life and give him my salvation.”
Psalm 91 (Living Bible)