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.” Immediately 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:
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:
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.”
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.
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.