Soul Keeping

by John Ortberg (a summary by Pat Evert)


What the soul is,
The stream is your soul, and you are the keeper. Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. It is my inner life. Sin splits my soul. God, help me to be the man my dog thinks I am.

What the soul needs,
We are limited in every way but one: we have unlimited desire. The truth is, the soul’s infinite capacity to desire is the mirror image of God’s infinite capacity to give.

  • Keeper – The formation of the soul is the most important process in the universe.
  • Future – Other creatures can live happily for today and not think about tomorrow. But not us. Our blessing and our curse is our ability to extend ourselves into tomorrow.
  • God, The soul seeks God with its whole being. Because it is desperate to be whole, the soul is God-smitten and God-crazy and God-obsessed. My mind may be obsessed with idols; my will may be enslaved to habits; my body may be consumed with appetites. But my soul will never find rest until it rests in God.

Rest, The Bible does use the word easy once, though. It came from Jesus. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened . . . and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Easy is a soul word, not a circumstance word; not an assignment word.

Freedom, How do you get the freedom that your soul craves? This is the great irony about freedom. To become truly free, you must surrender.

Gratitude, the soul thrives on gratitude. We feel better when we are grateful because the fundamental mind-set of the life of the soul is gratitude.

The soul restored, In the spiritual life God chooses to try our patience first of all by His slowness. He is slow: we are swift and precipitate. It is because we are but for a time, and He has been for eternity. . . .