the house of my soul

Today, I came across a quote from Augustine. It was pointed out to me by another writer sharing thoughts of this advent season, this season of waiting. Much, I am sure, to the dismay of this other writer, I do not know or remember what she was trying to say.

You see, the words of Augustine captured my mind. They struck my heart. They sang to my soul.

When God chooses to speak through another human being into the lives of His children all other things blur, as if in the background of the moment. The words God whispers to us become all there is in that moment.

Here are the words that became my moment with God’s Spirit today:

The house of my soul is too narrow for Thee to come in; let it be enlarged by Thee.  It is in ruins. Do Thou restore it.    ~Augustine

Perhaps referring to them simply as words is overly simplistic. In truth, this is a prayer, a cry of Augustine’s heart. And it is a plea that resonates with my own soul.

I long to have more of God, but often forget that this is my heart’s longing. I hunger for an experience—a walking with the Spirit—that would change my sight, my heart, my thoughts. But then I wander off to play with lesser things. I find myself enraged with my own profane behavior, my own unsacred attitudes, only to rationalize and blame others for what is only mine to be responsible for. I am a torn soul that pulls at its own seams struggling between what could be and what is easy. Between what is holy and what is a lie.

“What’s wrong with me?” I wonder. “Why do I fight against what I know I want and need?”

The house of my soul is too narrow.

The place where I have invited God to dwell does not fit the vastness of who He is. It’s not a space issue. It’s a matter of pettiness, of settling, of taking the moment rather than eternity.

The house of my soul is too narrow.

Not because I do not want God there, but because I do not truly open myself to Him and surrender. I choose my agenda over the interests of others. I plot my success rather than His service. I seek my fame and recognition in exchange for His quiet and intimate whispers of love.

The house of my soul is too narrow.

So what do I do? Augustine cries out to the Father: “…let it be enlarged by Thee.”

I am coming to truly acknowledge that the house of my soul is in ruins and I must call on the mercy of God to restore it. This is the message of Christ’s birth. This is the story of the coming Messiah. This is the whole point of gospels and the resurrection. Can reflect on the house of our soul?

Is it too narrow, or does Christ dwell there in all His fullness?

Thank you Augustine, for being a vessel through which the Spirit may speak to us.

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