The soul of the matter

A man once asked Jesus what he had to do to inherit eternal life. The reply was really just an expansion of the First Commandment. “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.”

While my heart is a muscle that pumps blood around my body, I am also aware that we generally attribute our emotions and feelings as ‘coming from the heart.’ Emotionally and with deep feeling I believe I could love my God with all my heart.

Using my mind to consider all my God has done for me would certainly enable me to love my God with all my mind. The strength with which I have been gifted allows me the energy I need that would enable me to love my God with all my strength but how do I love with my soul?

While x ray machines and scans don’t seem to find any evidence of where my soul might be located so I have to accept that my soul is part of that which has been created as ME.  Maybe my soul is the very core of my existence and while not a physical entity, perhaps contains my personality. which is uniquely me.

A cricket ball is a hard solid ball consisting of a manufactured cork core, wound with string with a leather cover stitched tightly over the top.

Reminds me a bit like each one of us. Our leather coating is our skin which surrounds our body that has our soul as its core. Cricket balls come in a number of different colours designed for different game formats. Just like us really.

Life for a cricket ball is difficult and while it starts its life shiny and new, it is smashed and hit constantly by cricketers wielding timber bats. Cricket balls also have to contend with constantly being wiped clean of dirt and moisture and polished to assist the users whose aim is to get past the timber wielding batsman, only to smash into the wickets being defended.

Our lives seem to follow a similar pattern as we withstand the pain and frustration of living. There are some people who cause us pain and others who are there to help us wipe away the tears and the hurts. But regardless of the knocks and beltings we receive on the exterior, we find our core, our soul, can be bruised as well.  Just like the cricket ball we can find we reach a point when the permanent damage is such, we feel we are no longer useful in the game.

Perhaps we think to ourselves that our soul is beyond repair and we must question how we could possibly love our God with a damaged soul. It is at this point our God tells us not to be afraid and to ‘come as you are.’

After Jesus was battered and bruised, he gave up His spirit. So too we can love our God by giving him our soul that has been through the rigors of life, yet whatever remains and whatever state it might be in, we need to be prepared to give it back to our creator with love. If He is happy to accept us as we are then we need to give Him the best we have.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s how I feel.

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