Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Leaness of Soul and one Fat Soul

" Why should not every year be richer than the past, in love, and usefulness,and joy?-I am nearer the celestial hills, I have had more experience ofmy Lord, and should be more like Him. O Lord, keep far from me thecurse of leanness of soul; let me not have to cry, "My leanness, myleanness, woe unto me!" but may I be well-fed and nourished in thyhouse, that I may praise thy name."
This excerpt is from Charles Spurgeon's daily devotional and the language toward the end is bit difficult to understand so I thought why not put it out there on a blog and see what others think the last part might mean. What does it mean to have "leaness of soul"?
I think that the "curse of leaness of soul" would mean keep me from living a shallow life. A life consumed with things that don't really mean all that much but seem to busy up my day more than the people who I should be investing in or the time I should be getting closer to God. I believe I get closer to God everytime I hear my children laugh because of something funny that was said or done, or when I read them a book, or when I spend time tickling them to the point of being tickled back. I believe I get closer to God by talking to my friends who are struggling in this life's journey and we discuss questions and answers of some things that have worked and some things that haven't worked. I believe I get closer to God when I am taking care of business with my husband :), greiving with a friend, rejoicing with another, and so many other ways that many people take for granted as just part of living. I don't believe anymore that the only way I can get closer to God is by reading the bible or going up on a mountain top to be alone with Him. I used to believe this to be true and I still believe these are ways that I can get closer to Him but they are not the only ways to avoid this "leaness of soul".
Our lives are made rich by the people and experiences that come our way, by hard work, and by easy living. My soul is filled to overflowing with substance, meaning, purpose, and it is all because of love. I believe I am well-fed and nourished by every house I enter because of Who enters into that house within me and for that I am truly thankful.


Jeni said...

When I read the beginning of your post, it was almost like it was written directly to me. I think a leanness of spirit can come from not only the things you said, but also from stubbornness. We think we know what we need to be happy. We strive toward certain things that we believe will make our life better, when really fitting God into those spaces would really make our lives better. We try to keep those areas to ourselves, to "fix" them on their own, when really there is no need for fixing--just a different perspective--God's perspective is needed to realize that things are perfect just the way they are. I think that until we come to recognize this, there will always be some level of leanness of spirit.

C&G said...

noel - I read the same devotional the day you wrote this post. :) I had told my Sis that I wanted "leanness of body" but not "leanness of soul". Maybe Spurgeon could have written "leanness of spirit" instead.

So here is what I think it means: leanness is when I allow my thoughts to be focused on me and the events happening around me; it is when I don't apply the Word to my daily life; it is when I choose to live in bitterness. Nourishment is when I turn my eyes (and my whole head) to my Creator; when I remember that He lives/abides in me, when I live what is Written (as in your examples). I may not always read the Bible or pray with fervor. But now I don't believe that it means I'm backsliding. That to me is legalism - I have been there, done that, and do not want to return.

There is a season for everything.

noel said...

jeni- i absolutely agree with you that stubborness is HUGE factor to becoming lean in spirit or soul. i hate my stubborness and at times really struggle with why i am continually working on that.
c&g- i hear ya about the leaness of body. it would be nice if it all came in the same package, like you could work on mind,body, and spirit all the same time and with great ease. oh wait...that will happen one day but will no longer reside here :)

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