Living life at the speed of sound or, rather, living life to the sound of other people demanding that we relentlessly pursue recognition, material success, and professional achievement is physically and spiritually exhausting. Busyness in the Chinese language means “heart annihilation.” We are being annihilated by all of this hamster wheel living. Living in the cult of speed, we’ve lost our way and, as a result, have almost lost our soul—the very thing Jesus warned us about. Somewhere along the way, we have to stop and ask ourselves, “What am I losing by all of my gaining?” We need to live before we die! The God who redeemed our souls has given us the responsibility to become custodians of their care. Our souls are constantly under siege by the culture; they need to be restored and nurtured. But sadly, most of us take better care of our cars than our souls! Stephen W. Smith’s latest book, Soul Custody: Choosing to Care for the One and Only You, offers eight life-giving choices that everyone can make to free their souls from the world’s demands and release them to live meaningful and satisfying lives.
Smith contends that the care of our souls and our ability to hear and respond to the nudging of the Holy Spirit is often buried beneath the busyness of everyday life. Believers mistake the busy life for the abundant life and deny the soul freedom to pursue the very things God designed us to achieve. Believers focus on the external rather than the internal, building bigger churches and programs rather than simply walking with God and gathering together to worship. Soul Custody is a book that will enable believers to identify whether or not their souls are being properly cared for as well as the God-given gifts and desires that will enable their souls to thrive. Smith discusses the eight life-giving choices that can ensure believers that they are properly caring for their spiritual well-beings and living the full authentic lives that God intended:
• Soul Solace: The Choice for Stillness
• Soul Focus: Choosing a Simplicity of Faith and Life
• Soul Serenity: Choosing to De-Tox from Stress
• Soul Sabbath: Choosing to Cease the Insanity
• Soul Identity: Choosing to Become the Real You
• Soul Vocation: Choosing What to Do in Life
• Soul Address: Choosing to Honor the Body-Soul Connection
• Soul Community: Choosing Your Friends
These are the choices that will begin an authentic transformation of the soul. This transformation also extends to the physical body, and readers will begin to recognize the body-soul connection and the importance of caring for both their physical and spiritual well-beings.
Each life-choice offered in Soul Custody incorporates helpful Scripture quotes, life examples, and suggestions for change to begin the process of soul transformation. The appendices include worksheets for readers as well as self-exploration questions to help them identify areas of their spiritual lives that are not authentic reflections of their God-designed purpose. Smith is convinced that proper care for our souls is an often neglected area, and that all believers can benefit from creating a purposeful plan for their souls that prevents crisis and embraces the unique gifts that God has given each of His children. Life can be satisfying and fulfilling when we are properly nurturing and caring for our souls. Creating a spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical balance allows each of us to live in God’s light and to encounter many moments of peace and joy.