Spring Renovation of the Soul

by Dr. Clarence Bradbury | 

SPRING is here! There is no better time of the year for home improvement. On a recent trip to our local building supply store, I was amazed to see the abundance of products for construction, renovations, house repairs and gardening. Energized by the possibilities, I went home to clean out a room that had become cluttered with boxes, furniture, footwear, kitchenware and wall hangings. In the process, I exposed an alarming assortment of material for the trash bin and vacuum cleaner. Moving to the garage, I encountered a more daunting lesson – separating essential from non-essential as I opened one box after another, gazing at things unused for decades, or forgotten for almost as long.

Spring offers an opportunity to dust off and deep clean not only our homes, but also ourselves. We can ‘come home’ to our inner, authentic selves. I believe the greatest work in our life is to develop our soul and listen to our heart. For this work, there are many scriptures to guide us, like Proverbs 4:20-23: My child, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.

You may be asking, what’s the process for cleaning and renovating the soul? I think it’s similar to Spring housecleaning:

  • Take a scrub brush to those hard-to-reach corners of life where spiritual grit accumulates
  • Have an eye for the stressors that sometimes make you pound the table and weep
  • Stocktake your investment of precious time and how it enriches your own life and the lives of those whom you love and care about.
  • Look within your secret self for evidence of love, respect and nurture. While God calls us His beloved, our Adversary leads us into self-condemning thoughts and behaviours.
  • Be honest in identifying things to get rid of during Lent – or for good!
  • As you abandon fruitless thoughts and behaviours, embrace or renew the practice of solitude and silence in order to hear God speak into your soul.
  • Practice fasting. It’s the spiritual habit of not always doing or getting what you want.
  • Immerse each day in scripture until it controls your habits, actions and reactions. Joshua 1:8 makes it clear, This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful.

As Christians, our spiritual renovation continues throughout our lives. And in that painful process we can find assurance and hope in the unshakable truth that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (philippians 1:6)

Suggested reading on soul care: https://dwillard.org/articles/spiritual-disciplines-spiritual-formation-and-the-restoration-of-the-soul

Dr. Clarence Bradbury