"...the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being." Genesis 2:7
The Latin verb to breath is "spirare". From there we derive the word "spiritus" which in English is "spirit". When I read and examine the above account of how God brought man into this world by breathing into his nostrils I get an incredible sense of oneness and belonging with the creator of the universe. He literally breathed us into existence and he imparted his spirit on us and in us. When we grasp the magnitude of this creation story we can see how the invisible God becomes visible through his creation- you and me. Why is it then that our souls or our spirit, the very central, life-force that lives at the center or the core of who we are can sometimes feel so disconnected from him and from others? I'm not sure there is just one answer to this question but what I do know is that if I don't work on staying connected to God I can become very easily distracted. If I unplug from my life-source, God, I know that my day to day circumstances become more complicated and can even become fear-provoking. There is a definite cause and effect scenario which takes place when I don't keep God in the center of my life. Out of gratitude I work with intention on my body, my mind, and my spirit or soul. (or should I say my spirit or soul first and then my body and mind).
God never moves away from us but we depart from him when we cut him out of our daily routine or when we make hasty decisions without prayerfully considering all of our options. I truly believe that "in order to know God we must know ourselves, and in order to now ourselves we must know God."
I am a mother to four (thankfully) grown children. For those of you who are parents I'm sure you will agree that raising teenagers requires wisdom, courage and strength. Looking back I recall a time when our 14 year old was struggling with his self-esteem and also with with his faith. For several weeks he just hadn't been the great, happy kid that we had known him to be. He was having problems with his school work and also with his relationships. One afternoon my husband, Robert asked him, "how's your relationship with God Anthony?" I will never forget the question and I will never forget Anthony's reaction to the question. As if it would rest on his lap, his head began to slump, as ever so slowly he shook it from side to side. That's all he had to do to reply; no words or anything else was necessary for us to see how confused and unhappy our son was at that moment in time. Anthony's innermost essence and being seemed as though it was utterly lost. In the depths of his soul he appeared to be struggling with a disconnection to God and thus a disconnection to us, to others, and to life. This detachment was affecting everything about Anthony. Fortunately we loved him through this relatively brief rough spell during his teenage years and he has grown and matured into a great 24 year old adult. He now has a very strong and active faith and he feels called to share that faith with people who come into his life. He is a solid example of a loving, devoted and faithful young man who loves to help others in many diverse ways. He is involved in local and global missions and his latest project will be in full-swing in just a few weeks. He is leading a team of nineteen others to Nicaragua February 22nd through the 29th where they will build a school and a church for a very small village. Please pray for Anthony and his team and if you would like you can make a donation to the St. Patrick Project by clicking on the icon to the right of this blog. Please designate your gift "for Anthony Schuller/Nicaragua Mission." No amount is too small.
*I'm sure if you ask Anthony now he will tell you that he had to work on his relationship with God before he could grow into the person who feels good about himself and others. I have seen his example of dedication in the time he spends with his creator and I have also seen first-hand the positive fruits of his discipline. His spirit is full of the love of God.
The dictionary defines spirit as "the life principle, especially in man, originally regarded as inherent in the breath, or as infused by a deity." (I believe they got this definition from Genesis) It goes on to say that spirit is "the thinking, motivating, feeling part of man, separate from matter but connected with life, will, conscience, and thought." A definition of the soul includes "the immortal or spiritual part of a person which has no physical or material reality. It is credited with the functions of thinking and willing and hence determines all behavior."
I think we can say that our soul represents the very center or core of our being and that all inspiration comes from it's essence. This is why it is so important to keep God where he belongs and where he started in our human existence when he first breathed the breath of life into us.
I love these words of Jesus found in John 16:7b Incidentally, Anthony led me to them.
"...unless I go away, the counselor (also referred to as the friend or Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go I will send him to you." Jesus spoke these words to his disciples before he was crucified.
We are promised that the Holy Spirit is available to us today. It can enter and possess our souls and give us a feeling of hope and comfort in our good times and also in our challenging times.
If you are facing difficulties, pain, a sense of loss, or if your life is full of confusion and doubt, ask yourself this question: "How is your relationship with God today?" I do believe that your answer will tell you something about your life and it's journey towards wholeness. Your answer will also have a strong influence on how you are functioning, relating, and reacting to the world around you.
God is blessing you. Donna