The first piano duet I learned is one I never tire of hearing. "Heart and Soul" by Hoagy Carmichael makes me smile anytime I hear a novice pecking out the familiar tune and delights me when a real pianist plays an improvisation on that simple theme. This song is part of my childhood memory bank. The title teases out a little theology as well. What are we? Heart or Soul? How do we satisfy the many longings of our hearts?
In an ongoing quest for living contentedly - not to be confused with living complacently or with mediocrity - we learn to live with gratitude and with open hands, not clinched fists. We learn to focus not on what we lack, but on what we have. The key word here is focus. We train the eyes of our soul to look upon our blessings, rather to fix our gaze upon any deficiency we could enumerate. Such is not easy in contemporary American culture where entitlement colors our desires, and expectations expand with the national debt. When we feed on the word of God, we find that God's provision is more than enough. God's Spirit nourishes us in ways we cannot do for ourselves. Sometimes the blessings come through others on the journey.
My friend affectionately known as Mother Jenn has provided food for thought on many occasions. Her family is reading through a meaningful series of books that has captured and fed the hearts and souls of countless children of all ages. Here is a morsel which addresses who we are at our core:
Quoting Aslan, the wise character C.S. Lewis brings to life in The Chronicles of Narnia series, we read:
"You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve," said Aslan. "And that is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content."C.S. Lewis further underscores who we are at the center of our being in Mere Christianity:
(Prince Caspian, C.S. Lewis)
"You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body."The One who created us body, mind and spirit loves us heart and soul. Let those words remind us who we are, even as they remind us to live contentedly.