I’m away on what is officially called “vacation,” but it sure doesn’t feel like it. Back home we’ve been spending every spare moment doing major remodeling at our new place, with the deadline of having it to a certain point by our son’s wedding at the end of the year. So for this “vacation” we headed over to Ft. Riley, KS, to help our other kid with major remodeling there, as Kaz, just back from a rotation in Europe, and will soon be moving on to the next assignment and selling this “fixer upper” house. Ends up we’re taking a break from remodeling at our place to go do more remodeling over here!
I do enjoy the creativity, the hands-on nature of the work, and getting to spend more time with Kaz, who is normally so far away. But will it ever get “done”? Likely not. But isn’t that the way it is with our life of faith as well—a never-ending journey of growing, even “remodeling” of our lives to shape them to be more like Jesus? The Church has used fancy words over the centuries to describe this process, including “sanctification,” meaning becoming more holy, or more Christ-like–but that word doesn’t seem to communicate so well these days. With our Wesleyan/Methodist heritage, we’ve often used the term “moving on to perfection,” but that’s probably even worse, as “nobody’s perfect,” and that smacks of arrogance to even claim to be trying– though it might communicate the growing process a bit better.
My current favorite is “discipleship,” the word used a bit in the New Testament that’s at least a little more familiar in Methodist circles, but I think we need a better word. “Spiritual remodeling” might communicate the idea bit better, but that’s a bit awkward, isn’t it? Along similar lines, though, how about since “landscaping” is about cultivating growing things, might “soul-scaping” work?
Whatever we call it, like remodeling a home, it’s rarely quick and easy, it’s often painful (I couldn’t tell you how many boo-boos I get almost every day!), it’s always messy, it often involves mistakes and wrong turns, but is ever exciting as we see the gradual process of growth and creativity at work. Sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it—at least if you’ve been involved in soul-scaping for a while in your own life, or in helping others in that process.
So how are you doing in your soul-scaping project? It might not feel like much of a vacation, but isn’t it well worth it when you see the difference it makes, and even more so, when you’re able to see your soul-scaping efforts become a blessing for others? I have noticed that like remodeling, soul-scaping usually works best as a team effort—so keep cheering each other on, and go, team, go!