Does Your Soul Need to Catch Up?
I don’t know about you, but there are times when I’m just weary. As I get older, the aches and pains in my joints sadly remind me I’m not 20 anymore. It takes more time to make sure my physical body stays healthy and well. For now, I sense that I’m using this as a defense mechanism to maintain that my physical health is more important than my soul health. Who needs soul health?
Here’s a story I want to share: It is quoted from Terry Hershey’s Sacred Necessities: Gifts for Living with Passion, Purpose, and Grace.
The story goes like this: European missionaries serving in Africa a century ago hired local villagers as porters to help carry supplies to a distant station. The porters went at a slower pace than the missionaries desired, so after the first two days, they pushed them to go faster. On day three of the trek, the group went twice as far as day two. Around the campfire that evening, the missionaries congratulated themselves for their leadership abilities. But on day four, the workers would not budge. “What’s wrong?” asked the missionary. 'We cannot go any further today,” replied the villagers’ spokesman. “Why not? Everyone appears well. “Yes,” said the African, “but we went so quickly yesterday that we must wait here for our souls to catch up.”
How tired are you? Where exactly did you leave your soul?
I want to paraphrase 1 Samuel Chapter 3. We find King David and his army returning home to find their entire town burned to the ground. All the women and children had been taken but no one was killed. After seeking God, David and his 600 men set out, and they came to the Brook Besor. 200 of his men were too exhausted to continue, so David left them and went on with 400 of his men. After his sound defeat of the Amalekites, he returned to the Brook Besor to the men he left behind. David greeted them joyfully. There were complainers who didn’t think the men deserved to be given anything but their wives and children because they stayed behind. David said we will share and share-alike.
These 200 men were exhausted beyond exhausted. They could not carry on anymore. I love that David knew this about his men and knew they needed to stay and rest. He didn’t judge them or shame them for their need to rest. Their souls needed to catch up.
I’m wondering if the previous battle and then the fact everyone and everything was gone upon their return home was just too much for the 200. There will be haters. The ones who feel like they did all the work and deserve all the spoils.
Which one are you right now?
I’m wondering, why do we do this to each other? We shame and question. We pick until there’s blood. We don’t understand the need to pull back and let our souls catch up. Our insecurities flare up and we are just sure this has to do with us and not the fact that the person really just needs to chill.
Our souls needing to catch up is a very real thing. It is necessary. If we don’t allow them to catch up, then we are in denial there’s even an issue.
As I look at the Scripture, I do not see an argument from David about the 200 men’s need to rest. He recognized the need and he simply carried on without them. David simply believed and trusted his men; the 200 who stayed behind and the 400 who went with him into battle. He never made it about him. He didn’t try to coerce or bribe the 200 to come and go anyway.
Who has done this to you? Or have you done this to someone?
There are more battles ahead, more disagreements, more life to be handled, and more grief to experience. There is also more joy, peace, and love ahead which simply cannot be enjoyed or perhaps recognized until our souls catch up. What exactly does your soul-catching up look like?
After the year we’ve had; the anxiety, depression, angst, fear of the unknown, it is no wonder we are in need of rest. We also need time. We need to be allowed to take the time we need to let our souls catch up. Whatever it looks like for you and in whatever way is best for you. No judgments, no shame, and absolutely no criticism. Do what you need, how and when you need to do it. Please allow yourself the freedom and permission to do it.
I would love to offer up these solutions:
• Make sure you allow for physical rest. We are in such a rush because we want to please others and stay busy doing. I cannot accomplish much if I’m addicted to being tired. It sounds great when I say this out loud; it almost gives the superiority that I’m an important, busy person when in reality I’m just doing too much for the wrong reasons.
• Make sure you allow for your mind to rest. I call this a brain dump. Dump everything running in your mind onto paper or a google doc. This clears your mind of junk and allows you to be able to hear. This also allows you to process things a bit quicker and be self-aware enough to know when enough is enough for you.
• I suggest you write/or journal. This one is a big deal to me. It lets me breathe again. It is also a great way to process both your thoughts, fears, and emotions before you act on them. Morning pages are a ritual I learned from Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist’s Way.
• Pray and meditate where you can find a quiet 5-10 minutes of silence. No distractions and no noise. Leave your phone off. Practice gratitude; write it down every day.
• I also recommend that you make sure you fill your mind with good things, pure things, holy things. This alone changes your perspective over time and allows the heart to heal and mend. Because it brings peace, it speeds up the process of mending and healing, which allows your soul to catch up.
Which of these do you need to practice more? Or do you have something that works you would be willing to share?
Don’t allow your soul to get too far behind. A few good years of spinning and you will find yourself stuck, and it will be a waste. There is a triangle between your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. When you elect to take care of all 3, then you have a great chance of being in a state of listening, healing, resting for your soul to catch up.
There is too much for you to do, to allow your soul to get behind. Stop being addicted to being tired. It is no longer a badge of honor.
Remember, David didn’t judge or shame his men for letting themselves rest up. Don’t do it to someone else. Remember, it’s not about you and where you are. King David showed us this; exemplified it to us. He didn’t ask for an explanation. He trusted those 600 men with his life and his family's lives. It could be time to trust the 6-10 people closest to you and not ask for an explanation.