Monday, May 16, 2011

Soul Holes: What you can learn from the first chapter of Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts"

I’ve heard a lot of talk recently about Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. I have many books on my Nook and stacked around the house to read so this one has been on my list for sometime in the future. Recently I read something that led me to believe I needed to read it sooner rather than later so I downloaded it to my Nook. I don’t remember what that something is anymore, but I am glad I went ahead and started it. I’m just a little ways into it, but it is resonating with me.

Since my Mom became ill years ago I have pondered life and its purpose. I know that we are created for God’s glory and living to be more like Christ is what life is about.

But, there is so much in this world today that screams the question “Why?” that I can’t help but wonder if I am truly living. There are days when I just plod along living in a daze of work, household chores, paying bills. On those days I wonder if this is really living for God’s glory.

John 10:10 talks about Christ coming that we may have life and have it more abundantly. It’s the word abundant that draws me into this verse. I don’t think that means a great deal of money, fame, or excitement. As much as I’d like to believe that I’m going to write the next best seller and rocket to fame and fortune I don’t think this verse is referring to that.

So, I’ve been noodling about what it means to have abundant life right now, right here in the midst of life as it comes. Just a few chapters into Ann’s book I am seeing that she has struggled with this also and I find her thinking lining up with the conclusions that have been coming to me.

I don’t think we can truly glorify God to the fullest unless we embrace the abundance in the midst of life. This means accepting not only the good things in life, the easy things, but also the hard things and the bad things. We don’t have to rejoice in the bad, we just have to know that it is part of the human experience.

Ann states in Chapter 1, “His love letter forever silences any doubts: ‘His secret purpose framed from the very beginning [is] to bring us to our full glory’ (1 Cor 2:7 NEB). He means to rename us – to return us to our true names, our truest selves He means to heal our soul holes.”

She has described soul holes as those things that create voids in our souls and lives. Things like the death of loved ones, lost jobs, broken relationships, etc. These things that the fall of Adam and Eve has created in our life are as Ann puts it, “that drain hole where joy sweeps away.” But, she goes on to say that since that time God has “had this wild secretive plan. He means to fill us with glory again. With glory and grace.”

Bringing us to our full glory is part of that abundant life. It is the shaping of our lives through the day to day as He brings us back to our true selves as children of God. I believe we choose to live abundantly when we allow God to use these things that create holes in our souls to heal us and bring us into line with his glory.

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