Thursday, October 10, 2013

Development of the Soul

“And the only solution to this would be that the meaning of earthly existence lies not, as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering, but in the development of the soul….”—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

This belief that life should be a cakewalk seems an American thing. It could be much wider-spread; perhaps the whole human race believes it. We believe it in the face of much evidence. Still we shout and stamp our feet when things don’t go as we think they should.

We rob ourselves of peace thinking this way. We shatter deep connections or never allow them to develop---connectedness with our fellow human beings and openness to the God that created us. We expect other people will be gentle and settled, that their lives, of course, are going along smoothly. It is tough to reach out to them when each of us is stamping feet and throwing tantrum. Admitting life is tough and taut with trials allows us quiet in ourselves to reach past the roar of the other.

I grumble incessantly. I’m pretty much the wimp. My soul should be better developed. Maybe those Old Testament saints fought so much for a reason; war and being whisked off being more the norm than the exception.

The fix for our mindset is to fit the complexities of existence into perspective. Wish I could say I was successful even half the time. So in all our celebrations and all our difficult circumstances the focus should be on developing the soul. For all flesh is like grass that withers but the soul is forever.

No comments: