Reflections on the “Introduction” of the book “When The Soul Listens” by Jan Johnson

The statement that hits me the most in the Introduction came right at the end of it: “I could now relate to God unhurriedly.” (p. xx)

I think this really gets to the heart of the matter. Everything we do today is rush rush! But you simply can’t rush when trying to relate to someone.

Think about Phil Collins’ song, “You Can’t Hurry Love.” We are invited to enjoy loving God with all that we are, but love can’t be hurried!

I remember, a long time ago, when I read Richard Foster’s book, “Celebration of Discipline” I came across a statement that has never left me: “Hurry is not of the devil, hurry is the devil.” Indeed.

Here are a few other quotes from the Introduction that stuck out for me (with a brief thought under each):

“We were created for life in union with our Creator, which begins now and keeps growing…” (p. xvi)

When reading the contemplatives this word, “union” comes up again and again and again. The word religion broken down is re-ligio, which means, re-ligament (i.e. reconnect or rejoin). That’s why Jesus came – to reconnect us to God.

“I longed to know how to connect with God.” (p. xvii)

“My soul felt starved for divine companionship” (p. xvii)

I wonder if you can identify with this longing? I think of the Psalmist who writes, “My soul thirsts for the Lord.” Part of this year’s goal is to address this thirst and give you ways of quenching it.

“Eternal life begins now and refers not only to length of life but also the quality of life in which we experience wholeness and union with God.” (William Barclay)

Life. Wholeness. Union. These words speak deeply to me.

“Christians in other eras understood that growth comes from letting God nurture us.” (p. xix)

Do you feel nurtured by God? Are you doing things that allow God to nurture you? Are you doing things that obstruct God from nurturing you?

“I wanted to live and move and have my being in the place God dwells – within me!” (p. xix)

This is quite a statement isn’t it? It’s thoroughly biblical – we are called the Temple of the Holy Spirit and we are told that the Holy Spirit lives in us. I bet you’ve never considered the fact that becoming still and quiet allows you to enter into your Temple and commune with the Spirit? As the author writes, contemplation broken down is con-templa meaning, “with temple.” This book teaches us how to be in the temple with God – I hope that excites you!

Every blessing, Pastor Craig.