We live in a world that never stops going. Everything is fast paced and only getting faster. This isn’t a uniquely city problem either. We are seeing this stretch to the suburbs and even rural areas. The advancement of the internet, smartphones, and the 24-hour news cycle has us all more connected than ever.
It is a time of sensory overload. We’re always on our phones. Instagram rules our lives with hours of endless scrolling. We pick up our phones to watch YouTube, TV shows, and movies. There are 750,000 podcasts to teach us everything we didn’t know or enthrall us with murder mysteries. Apple’s new feature revealing how much screen time we use has been convicting for many of us.For Christians the answer to life’s burning questions isn’t found within, but by looking up to the Cross and deeper into Jesus’ work in our lives.
Many of us are now trying to figure out how to slow down. Cal Newport in his book Deep Work and Ryan Holiday in his new book, Stillness Is the Key, both try to address this issue. How can we slow down and experience life? How can we stop consuming all the time and create more? How can we figure out who we are and what we were made for? These are the burning questions people are asking today.
Gem and Alan Fadling, in their book What Does Your Soul Love? look to answer this question from a Christian’s perspective. Each chapter they tackle poses a question:
Desire: What do you really want?
Resistance: What is getting in your way?
Vulnerability: Where are you hiding?
Truth: What is most real to you?
Pain: How are you suffering?
Fear: What are you afraid of?
Control: What are you clinging to?
Joy: What does your soul love?
Where Newport and Holiday fall short is finding the answer by looking deeper within ourselves. For Christians, the answer to life’s burning questions isn’t found within, but by looking up to the Cross and deeper into Jesus’ work in our lives. Gem and Alan ask foundational questions of ourselves and the world around us and then remind us that the best answer is found in Jesus. They are the big questions of life, what do we love? What do we want? What are we afraid of? These are the universal questions we all wrestle with at some point in our lives.
In the chapter on fear, the authors remind us that every advertisement is designed to make us think we are lacking something essential to our lives. Marketing firms find their success by tapping into our collective sense of FOMO, or fear of missing out. This idea that we must have the latest thing and be on the cutting edge is simply designed to turn us away from Jesus and towards things. To that, they make this powerful statement:
A great prayer that springs from Psalm 62 is this: My soul finds rest in God alone. When you come across the next gadget that promises to quell your fears, try saying this prayer out loud. My soul finds rest in God alone. Our prayer for you is that your soul might take a deep breath, that you will find rest in God, and that he will allay your fears and anxieties.
This is the heart of the book, constantly pointing readers back to the gracious love of God.
These eight questions are designed to get us to slow down. Slowing down itself isn’t enough, though; what we slow down into matters, too. Gem and Alan force us to look in and then look up. What Does Your Soul Love? invites us to ask the hard questions and pursue Christ like few other books can.
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