By Shirley Wainwright
Back to school week, no doubt, will be presenting an array of challenges for the soul, so to speak. There will be mental lists to check off, new schedules to be established, hyper enthusiasm to reign in, tears to wipe away, new experiences to be related, fluctuating emotions to moderate, maybe a few problems to sort out, and ahhhhh, for some, peace at last!!
Hats off to the mums and dads of young children and teens, who relentlessly juggle the plethora of activities associated with 21st century parenting. I left that stage of life many years ago but have recently been presented with a few opportunities to remind me of just how all-consuming it can be. Where does one find rest for the soul amidst it all?
We were challenged in the message last Sunday to think about which aspect of our soul (mind, will, emotions) needs to be worked on the most. I’m suspecting that many of us would have to admit that our biggest battles are fought in the mind. Circumstances too easily dictate our thoughts and before we know it we become stressed, anxious and worn out.
Regardless of our age or station in life, we can’t avoid the strife and turmoil in the world around us, but with God we can have peace, even when the going gets tough. Perfect peace and the associated rest for our souls comes as we keep our minds fixed on Him (Isaiah 26:3), as we read and meditate on the words of Jesus (Colossians 3:16), as we pray and develop an attitude of thankfulness (Philippians 4:6-7), and as we allow our minds to be changed so that we think more like Christ (Philippians 2:5; Ephesians 4:23). The good news is that we don’t have to struggle along on our own. God has sent His Holy Spirit to give us a helping hand (John 14:16), and furthermore, we’re invited to join a community of believers where burdens can be shared (Romans 15:2).
So, as life speeds up again, let’s remember to purposefully attend to the health of our soul and include Jesus in everything.
What can I already be thankful for in 2018?
Is there anyone in my sphere of influence who needs a helping hand as the new year gets underway?