Have you ever experienced a moment when it seems as if you can feel God’s presence … when you have that profound sense of awe and wonder that God is indeed by your side? Alternatively, do you ever remember feeling abandoned by God… wondering if a connection to the divine is even possible?
Being human is a challenge on many levels. On the one hand our divine soul cries out to God, seeking the spiritual connection like the flame of a candle, as it ever reaches ever upward toward heaven. On the other hand, our body - our animal soul - seeks to satisfy itself, like the wick of the candle holding the spiritual flame down to the material world in which we live. Personally, I have had a very difficult time in my life keeping the animal soul in check so I can keep my internal focus on the divine. Some of it has to do with the way the combination of nature and nurture in my early years helped to shape the way I respond to situations. Some of it has to do with choices I make to feed that animal soul because it simply feels good… and my body does like the feeling of feeling good.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
The dichotomy of the body and soul is all around us: Materialism vs. Spirituality. When the needs of the body are being met, the animal soul has no motivation to transcend beyond this earthly plane. Fortunately, God provides us with a divine soul as a means to rise above those base instincts. The body is dependent on the material tools that interact with the world through our senses of sight, smell, sound, touch and taste and is driven to meet its physical needs. Conversely, the soul strives only to connect with God and is, therefore, the very reason for our existence. This does not mean that the body is bad… after all, our bodies were created by God with those incessant physical needs. These bodies of ours have an awesome potential for good and it is the spiritual soul that can energize and direct the body to unite with the divine.
Dusty often talks about the concept of “Soul Care”. So… how do we care for souls? How do we nurture that part of us which yearns to connect with the divine presence of God? How do we unite our body and soul? First, I believe, we must recognize that we are indeed divine beings; created in the image of God. We must also realize that the need to put daily effort into nurturing our divine souls. Worship, meditation, prayer, study, fellowship and virtuous acts are some of the tools we can use to strengthen our soul connection with the God of the universe. Finally, we need to understand that while the body tries to keep us bound to this earth, the divine soul has the power to lift us above and beyond the material toward that divine spiritual connection.