I don't know about you, but I hated book reports as a kid. If I'm honest, I still do. But I've decided I need to read more and get more out of what I am reading. So I'm doing some book reports, and I'm going to blog about it. The accountability will help me. So I'm going to dig into Soul Keeping by John Ortberg.
PART ONE: What the Soul Is
Chapter 1: The Soul Nobody Knows
From birth to our final resting place (“May God rest his soul”), the soul is our earliest companion and our ultimate concern. The word is ethereal, mysterious, and profound. And a little spooky. How many of our children learned this prayer: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord, my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take”? Is it me, or are those scary words to teach a seven-year-old to pray alone in the dark?
I guess itʼs, not me: “That [prayer] so, so did not work for me . . . ,” wrote Anne Lamott. “Donʼt be taking my soul. You leave my soul right here in my fifty-pound body.” What does it mean to ask God for “my soul to keep?” If I expire before sunrise, and he takes my soul, what exactly is it that gets taken?
The soul knows a glory that the body cannot rob. In some ways, in some cases, the more the body revolts, the more the soul shines. People may claim that all you are is your body. But as a disabled friend once said, “The only thing I can depend on with my body is that it will fail me. Somehow, my body is mine, but itʼs not ’me.’” Greatness of soul is available to people who do not have the luxury of being ecstatic about the condition and appearance of their bodies.
We ponder the soul because weʼre curious. But it’s not just that. The search for the soul always begins with our great heart. “If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. . .” What is the soul?
I'm curious how do you define the word soul?