The traffic going to the beach was awful. The traffic coming home was just as bad. The license plates around us on I-26 were from Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Florida, California, New York… Not every person caught COVID-19, but Cabin Fever seems to have gotten to everyone during the pandemic, and now that we have been given the green light to freely move around the country, America has rediscovered its passion for road trips, sight-seeing and exploring.
Spiritual exploration is good for the soul, too, but rarely do we pursue it with the same energy we spend on vacationing. Spiritual stagnation is a true malady that produces a host of other maladies, including health problems. We all need to take time to move out to the property lines we’ve drawn around our assumptions, mindsets and opinions and take an exploratory step for our own good and for the sake of others. The good news is: We can do this anywhere we happen to be!
Recently, I preached a sermon about our need to see and minister to the whole person. I suggested that the most exciting uncharted territory we can explore might be those aspects of other people that are obscured to us when we think of them as one-dimensional types, but the same goes for ourselves.
In the little picture book, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse, by Charlie Mackasey, the mole says to the boy: “Isn’t it odd? We can only see our outsides, but nearly everything happens on our insides.” So true. Maybe that’s why Jesus talked as if there should be no distinction between our inner and outer lives and was so hard on the idea that we can be one person in public and another person inside, yet there are rooms in the architecture of every soul that can go neglected for years or decades, or even… for a lifetime.
W. B. Yeats once wrote: “It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield.” Can you summon that courage and explore those rooms in the architecture of your soul that you have neglected for too long? God cares about all of you and wants to enlighten and enliven every dimension of you and every relationship you have. While you’re getting out, take time to prayerfully let God in!