Sole … Soul

The human sole is amazing! I know I’m a pastor, but I really am talking about the sole of your foot. When we visited South Africa, the village children were almost entirely shoeless. They ran down the rocky rugged roads of Umtata without injury. The sight of it made our team cringe. I could feel the rocks through the thick soles of my shoes, and I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like barefoot. Maybe like finding a forgotten Lego in the middle of the night. But studies have shown that our feet are extremely tough and adaptable. People who live shoeless have tougher soles that can stand extreme conditions and yet give the vital and detailed sensory feedback necessary for walking. Did you realize the sole of each foot has over 200,000 nerve endings and special fatty deposits that provide extremely resilient cushioning?

Even the bottoms of my prodigiously pampered pedestals are both amazingly rugged and incredibly responsive. They can manage small doses of rough cement without bleeding and hot black sand without blistering. And yet … I can feel the exact size and location of the tiniest particle lodged in my shoe.

I want a soul … like my sole. I want my inner man to be tough, flexible, resilient, responsive and sensitive. You don’t want to be a tenderfoot when it comes to your inner self. That was a term used among the early settlers to refer to person who was unaccustomed or unprepared to face hardship. A soul mature in faith will not be easily wounded or waylaid by the roughness of life … or people. A the same time you want your heart to remain sensitive to God and your fellow man. You want to be able to discern accurately the seriousness and size of anything that comes between your relationship with God and others. Neuropathy in the SOLE complicates walking greatly. Neuropathy of the SOUL damages your ability to walk God and those He puts in your life.

Here’s one passage that gives a great snapshot of the tough yet tender soul …

Colossians 1:9-12 We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.