Message from Tim
Is It Well, Is It Well, With Your Soul?
The Hebrew word for peace is shalom. This word denotes, not just an absence of conflict, or a calm state of mind, but a sense of wellbeing at every level. How many levels are we talking about here? One of the many different models on offer suggests that there are eight dimensions of wellbeing:
Career: is my work enjoyable and fulfilling, and do I have a good work/life balance?
Emotional: am I cultivating a garden of positive emotions, or is it overgrown with weeds?
Environmental: am I surrounded by light, space, beauty, order, calm, cleanliness?
Financial: do I have enough resources to meet my long-term needs, with a bit to spare?
Intellectual: am I learning, developing my skills, using my mind, being curious?
Physical: am I keeping fit and active, eating sensibly, enjoying good health, sleeping well?
Social: am I connecting with other people and do I have a sense of belonging to a group?
Spiritual: do I have a sense of purpose, meaning and significance? Where does God fit in?
Some points to ponder:
‘None of these dimensions is completely beyond our control.’
Do you agree or disagree with that statement? How important is our state of mind to an accurate assessment of our wellbeing?
For better or worse, all these dimensions are interconnected: when one dimension moves up or down the scale of wellbeing, this will have an effect on the other dimensions as well. For better or worse, which dimension is bossing all the others in your life?
If you were able to change one of these dimensions for the better, which would you choose, and how much impact would that have on all the others?
‘Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace-- in peace because they trust in you’ (Isa 26:3 NRSV). Is trusting in God the key to our spiritual wellbeing? How much does your spiritual wellbeing affect the other dimensions of your life? How much influence could it have? How much influence should it have?
Where does church fit in? Does belonging to church help with any of these dimensions? If not, why not, and what are you going to do about that?
Looking down the list you may feel you really aren’t doing very well and you feel powerless to do anything about that. If that’s the case, then it’s time to pray and ask God to redeem you, rescue you, set you free and sort you out. He is the one who comes to our aid when we admit that we are helpless, that we have lost control. There is no one whose life cannot be redeemed and everyone’s life is worth redeeming – that’s why he sent Jesus to be our Saviour. That is something we can all thank God for, no matter how strong or weak our sense of personal wellbeing.
So, however you feel today, may the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you, and give you his peace.