…you got soul

Ever play that one high-five game:  “Up high…down low…in the hole…YOU GOT SOUL”?   UP HIGH–two people put their palms up high [SLAP ‘five’], then DOWN LOW[SLAP], then the guy calling it out makes his hand into a little cup and the other guy swirls a finger in the cup [IN THE HOLE].  It all ends with the guy making the cup telling the other guy ‘YOU GOT SOUL.’ 

It’s one of those silly high-five games that you do when are a kid or one that you do TO a kid.  Because one of the variations goes like this:  “Up high…down low…in the hole…you’re too slow.”  In this example, the guy who is making the cup with his hand gags the other guy by pulling his hand back before the other person can put their finger in his “cup.”  All of you have, undoubtedly, played this silly game or one like it.

Of course, more than anything that intrigues me as a pastor is why one person can declare another person to have SOUL–just because they can put their finger in another guy’s cupped hand faster than the other can pull away.  Seems pretty arbitrary–but, alas, it’s just a game.

How do you know you have SOUL? 

Of course, I don’t mean ‘soul’ in a bluesy, downtown, jazzy sort of way.  I mean “soul” like the invisible thing that lives inside of every human.  The part of us that thinks beyond normal, everyday functions like eating and sleeping.  The soul is that part of us that thinks beyond ourselves, that feels, that ponders and worships, that constructs and deconstructs ideas…the part of us that MAKES US HUMAN.  In fact, it’s THE SOUL IN YOU THAT’S READING THIS ARTICLE, not your eyes or your brain.  If mere brute, animal survival was all human life was about,  taking the time to read this article wouldn’t make sense.  It’s our soul that longs for and hopes towards more.  To find fulfillment, relationship, purpose, and direction.

Of course, that’s not to say that survival isn’t a part of the soul.  Or that the brain isn’t a part of our soul.  Rene Descarte is famous for having postulated: “I think, therefore, I am.”  Without our brain computing the logic (or illogic) of things, our soulful perspectives would be driven by feelings, intuition, and spirit alone.   And that’s not always safe.  (Just watch a soap opera or “Jerry Springer” to see how true that last statement is.)

No, our soul is equal part thinking, feeling, and believing.  Any stripping the soul of any of those things would mean that–like in that game–“you’re too slow.”  It’s not all brain, of course.  If having a big brain was all that was required to be the ultimate being, then a sperm whale would own that title with a brain that weighs almost 20 lbs.  But, no whale equals the human in soul–even if we come up with ridiculously corny games like “Up High, Down Low.” 

We are most soulful (and, consequently, most human) when we are utilizing every aspect of the part of us that is invisible.  While our brains may include electro-chemical reactions inside a chunk of 3-lbs. gray matter, every TRULY THINKING person knows that there’s more to us than that.

The First Soul has reported to humanity that we are not just another animal with advanced thinking abilities, but a soul worth living inside of.  In the first book of the Bible, God celebrates the fact that humans were solely made (pun intended) in “His image” (Genesis 1:26).  He made us different because He made us for a relationship of unique dynamics.  He made us with more than the ability to react to our environment like an animal.  He created us with the ability to not only think about our environments, but TO BRING THE DIVINE INTO OUR WORLD.  It’s called the soul.

So, whether this article finds you feeling UP HIGH or DOWN LOW (even as low as in a hole), never forget that YOU’VE GOT SOUL.  God longs to be in you.

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