Discovering Your Soul Holes

I remember seeing  movies as a kid where through some miraculous invention people were able to be shrunk down and put into a human body.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could take a walk around our souls? Click on a spiritual harness and cinch ourselves to a rope and see if we might be able to rappel down into the chasm of our spiritual well-being; what might we find?

Go with me for a moment:

Imagine leaning back over the edge; testing the strength of your rope.  You slowly move the rope through your hands, careful not to rush things….after all you’ve never done this before. It’s colder than you thought it’d be….“it’s pitch black in here” you mutter, as you continue your descent.

Before you have a chance to panic you notice your feet hit bottom. As you gain your footing, and unhook your harness; you step away from the rope to notice in the distance a small lantern glowing along with the sound of shoveling.

You’re undone by your curiosity and your feet begin to make their way toward the noise. In the darkness you whisper a prayer, “Holy Spirit show me the way.” soul holesImmediately a miner’s light clicks on from your helmet illuminating your path. It’s just a few steps more when you see a person hard at work digging.

You quietly call out to the digger, “Hey!”, but your call is only met with the sound of more shoveled dirt. You call a little louder when they freeze for a moment and look back over their shoulder. Your small light catches their face and you’re stunned. Speechless…..because you realize the digger, the person in front of you…….is you.

Without speaking a word your twin is back to work. As you continue to watch, you surmise that they’ve been at this for a long time. Their overalls are marred with grime, they have dirt caked fingernails, and the digging is being done at a feverish pace.

Before you can speak again your twin is on the move grabbing up a heavy bag of shovels. As you follow behind your new friend stops at a hole that seems to have been dug what looks like hundreds of times. Through the faint light you see the sign, naming the hole:

“God’s Approval”

As your twin digs you notice that they’re constantly stopping to measure the length and depth of the hole. After one measurement the digger pants out, “I gotta dig harder, faster, better if I’m going to please him.” However, with this hole, the dirt seems to be never ending. With every spade of dirt removed, the hole fills that much more.

After a sigh of frustration or anger (you can’t tell which), your soul self grabs the bag of shovels and scampers to another hole. This hole is simply marked: “Their Approval”

“Who’s this about? Who’s approval?”, you question.

Your new friend looks back at you with moistened eyes and says, “you know”.

Once again the shovel is thrust into the ground only to clang from hitting bedrock. “This one never goes anywhere.” The miner mutters.

As your new friend stops to go through the bag to retrieve another shovel, you steal a moment to look around at the holes dug around you. The holes seem to go on forever, signs mark them: Relationships….Success…..Food…..Achievement….My Kids……Money……Sex…….Alcohol…..Shopping…..Career……Closure……they’re never ending.

As you ponder how this is possible you realize there’s something in your hand that wasn’t there before. It’s a small Bible the size of a post card. Your thumb finds it’s way into the pages, when a still small voice says read aloud these words:

Matt 11:28

28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”….

The shoveling stops. Your soul self says, “read that again”,

28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”….

“I.,,,am….tired.”, your digging friend says as they collapse to the ground.

You decide to get some answers, “What are you looking for? If you don’t mind me asking.”

“Some sort of peace…..fulfillment……contentment. Could you read those words again?”

Matthew 11:28–30 (ESV)

28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Without hesitating you read on, instinctively knowing you should:

29 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

“I need that; rest I mean”. your soul twin says.

“How long have you been digging?’ you ask.

Then the chilling response, “All my life. I can’t remember not digging.”

Final Thoughts

For years I spent my life digging. I didn’t walk around with a t-shirt saying, I’m looking to fill a hole in my soul, but on the inside my soul was gnawing with hunger and nothing I brought it helped.

Have you been there?

Do you know what it’s like to be digging to find wholeness? What would be the signs posted in your soul of half dug holes?

For me it was relationships, achievement, or trying to do more for God.

Jesus longs for you to put down the shovel and put an end to our useless search for meaning outside of Him.

He says:

Matthew 11:28–30 (ESV)

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

The problem is that most of us want to run to ourselves, others or even other things. They overlook Jesus as they would a nameless extra on the set of a movie. To come to Jesus means that there first must be a recognition that I’ve been looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places. A coming to grip with the truth that every other path is insufficient.

He says come because he offers something life altering.

Relief.

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Give the World Your Gift

I’ve got issues. Enough issues that you could say I have a subscription.

For instance one of the biggest obstacles I’ve faced in my ministry of writing and preaching has been the nagging feeling that everything that needs to be said has already been written and said by others. The result has been a near paralysis in writing and sharing what God has placed on my heart. Consequently my God-given gifts end up sitting on the shelf collecting dust not helping anyone.We Need Your gift

Right now Christmas music is rocking at full force in grocery and department stores, living rooms, and of course cars around the country. Have you noticed it always seems to be the same songs played every year? Have you also noticed that even though it’s the same songs sung, they’re sung by many people? Why? Because people love to hear their favorite vocalist sing their favorite songs in their style.

The same is true when it comes to God’s truths; those truth “songs” aren’t going to change. King Solomon wrote there’s “nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9). And yes those truths have been sung by many that have come before you and I, but here’s the God freeing truth for you and I: God wants the world to experience his truth and goodness through the unique gifts He’s given you.

You and I cannot create and innovate truth, but we can be a unique prism that God’s truth shines through. So, whatever your gift is as a writer, preacher, craftsmen, teacher, student, business owner, parent….whatever it is…..don’t hide your gift, let it run rampant. It may feel like the same song that’s been sung countless times, but your personality and flavor will shine through and connect with those it’s meant to.

Let’s get off the shelf and shine together.

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On a Comeback

Remember me?

I’ve missed you guys.

I put my pen and podcast mic down about 5 months ago. Here’s why:

Because you and I are so deeply immersed in the lives of those in our home we can quickly be overtaken by schedules, plans, and extracurricular stuff. Instead of doing life, we can end up waking up one day and realizing that life is doing us. That’s exactly what happened to me this year and my eyes were opened to the realization that I had lost my intentional edge; the very intentionality I had talked about in my podcasts.

Date nights with my wife had waned. Devotional moments in The Word with my boys had become spotty. I knew it was time for me to take a break and put things in order. No one wants to listen to a hypocrite and I don’t want to be one.

Here’s the truth the Lord’s been reminding me as a husband and dad over the past few months:

The first place you and I are called to love, lead, and pastor is our home.

Putting our faith and family first must be more than just words. These precious ones are counting on you and I to get this right.

As I do this I’m leaning back in to sharing here and I hope it’s a help.

Let’s grow together.

 

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#012 Finding Clear Eyes in Your Marriage [Podcast]

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In this episode I share a recent message that I gave at Radiant Church during a relationship series. My focus in this message was about the importance of spouses having clear eyes when it comes to how they view their spouse.

If you find this and other podcasts helpful, you can help spread the word by perhaps sharing them via Facebook, Twitter, or email. It would also be huge if you’d give me a rating and review at either iTunes or Stitcher Radio. Thanks for listening!

HeroHusbandPodcast

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#011 Four Questions You Should Be Asking Your Kids [Podcast]

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In this episode I talk about four key questions dads can be asking their kids to draw out their child’s heart.

Download and Subscribe to these episodes on the go at iTunes or Stitcher Radio

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Show Notes:

Here are 4 questions every Dad should be asking their kids: 

1. What was the best part of your day?  .

2. What was the worst part of your day?

3. What’s your favorite memory of us?

4. What do you want to talk to God about?  

These questions are powerful when you give yourself time to ask them and when you ask them with consistency. Be present with your kids and ask.

What did I miss? What would you add? Share Below.

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#010 Communication 101 [Podcast]

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In this episode I sit down with author and speaker, Lennon Noland to talk through some pro tips for taking our communication with our wives to the next level.

Check out Hero Husband Hero Dad on iTunes and Stitcher Radio to subscribe and download more episodes to your phone and to leave a rating and review.

See Show Notes Below:

Hero Husband Hero Dad Podcast

 

Show Notes:

Communication Tips:

  1. Set time aside for intentioinal connecting.

  2. Connect with each other , not just the net. Proximity doesn’t always equal intimacy. 

  3. There must be Rules of Engagement (These are golden!)

  4. Vocalize your affection. Don’t assume they know how you feel.

 

Find Lennon’s work here:

www.LennonNoland.com 

What did we miss? What would you add to this list? Share below!

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