Monday, September 12, 2011

An Institutionalized Soul

After communist regimes tumbled down in Eastern Europe, stories about life under various dictators came out. One of the most poignant was one from Romania. Under the rule of Ceau┼čescu, the leaders had determined that it was in the best interest of the country to raise children in an institution instead of a home with their parents. The results were shocking. Even though the children were provided all the means to meet their physical need, they were undersized, slow to develop in motor functions and behind in their communications skills. There were so many kids in these institutions that those hired to care for them could only feed and clothe them. They had no time to hold them, care for them when they were crying or simply play with as kids long to do.

How often we do this with our soul. In our busy world, we treat our emotions, mind and spirit as if they are children who only need a bed and three square meals. Maybe we think that since we went to church on Sunday or we read our Bible for a few minutes this morning that all is good with the little children inside us. So we can go about our busy lives, dragging our soul along. When we do this, we control our soul and force it into mold that it does not fit.

It's not normal to treat children this way but it has become quite normal for us to ignore the voices of the children within us. We shove aside our emotions. We turn away from pain. We refuse to ask hard questions. We put all our energy into our outer world, but the way we treat our inner world resembles the way kids were treated in Romanian institutions.

Are you institutionalizing your soul? Stop now and listen. The Spirit is near working in you. You can break free from it today:
• Simply sit still where you are and take a deep breath.
• Here this word: "Be still and know that I am God."
• Ask yourself: "If I could say anything to God right now, what would I say."
• Then reflect on your response. What does that say about the things going on in your soul?
• Wait for a couple of minutes to listen to what God might say back to you.

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