In HOPE

  In HOPE 6.12                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

Here's one final suggestion (for now) on the changing Church of today. Alan Jamieson writes A Churchless Faith (2002, 208 pages) and draws on his doctoral thesis to conclude that people are leaving the mainstream churches "as a matter of growth of faith rather than death of faith." He urges church leaders to see leavers not as the fallen but as pioneers. Worth a look if you're a leader.  

Hope Happenings

Hope International University's School of Professional Studies will roll out a whole new educational system (in about 2 weeks) for working adults to complete degree programs they may have begun some time ago but had to defer. This is the most comprehensive, manageable, and affordable model we have developed yet. Check www.hiu.edu for more information, if you're curious.

 

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

 

If most of us were asked why we thought we were not fulfilled, why we were not simply happy, we would likely point to particular features of our life such as work, relationships, or health, and attribute our unhappiness to one of these.... To so many of us the activities of our day are like parallel lines and many actively resent one area's impinging on another. The result of this is that modern life so often lacks a centre, a point of convergence, a source of unity. Consequently, men and women lose the sense of their own creative centre and as a result they have no contact with their real selves." (John Main, O.S.B., 1926-1982)


The Lost Soul

Our world is full of lost souls, and we may be among them.

Not in the sense that we have no eternal reward to anticipate, though our attachment to the earthly suggests we may not have full confidence in the heavenly.

Nor in the sense that our lives lack direction or purpose -- "poor lost soul" -- though that might be an uncomfortably accurate description of some of us, too.

No, the lost soul may ultimately be that person who has lost touch with themselves. In the words of John Main, they "lack a centre, a point of convergence." They talk about "juggling plates" and feel divided between the demands of life. Everything in their life is moving on separate tracks at high speed - marriage, family, career, education, church, etc. Each rail has its demands and its limitations.

More often than not, these tracks feel mutually exclusive. They tend to collide with each other, rather than complement each other. Periodically, they create conflict and friction. How c an I fulfill my desires and duties adequately in every area, without some form of collapse?

The result? We have become alienated within ourselves, unable to reconcile competing demands or opportunities. We feel torn in many directions. And, as Main suggests, we are quick to point to our circumstances as the source of our stress and hardship. 

We have become lost souls indeed, because we have generally lost touch with the steadying and stabalizing Presence of Christ within us. 

Thomas Kelly (a Quaker) noted half a century ago, "Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continuously return." If only we would.

In evangelical circles we commonly identify the lost souls of this world as those without eternal security. Perhaps as we look at the quiet chaos within ourselves, we'll realize our own need to rediscover the "inner sanctuary of the soul" ... and rediscover ourselves.

The journey to this place requires silence and attentiveness. But be assured, those who were dead, come alive! And those who were lost, are found!

In HOPE -

David

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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

For back issues of In HOPE, see http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/