It occurs to me I have not defined my terms. What do I mean by ‘chasing soul’? What is this obsession with soul?
When I speak of chasing soul, I mean learning to live out of a deeper reality. Rather than flit and fly along the surface, buffeted by every breeze, we live out of an anchored soul-level place. Brent Curtis and John Eldredge describe this place well in The Sacred Romance:
The inner life, the story of our heart, is the life of the deep places within us, our passions and dreams, our fears and our deepest wounds. It is the unseen life, the mystery within, — what Frederick Buechner calls our “shimmering self.” It cannot be managed like a corporation. The heart does not respond to principles and programs; it seeks not efficiency, but passion. Art, poetry, beauty, mystery, ecstasy; these are what rouse the heart. Indeed, they are the language that must be spoken if one wishes to communicate with the heart. It is why Jesus so often taught and related to people by telling stories and asking questions. His desire was not just to engage their intellects but to capture their hearts. ((As quoted in The Blue Book by Jim Branch))
I call this place simply ‘soul,’ and now you see why it’s a chase.
So why does soul-level living matter? Because the saints of old always knew this to be the essential starting point for all things real, lasting and divine. When downcast, David spoke to his soul. He started there. We are told every person has a sense of eternity in their hearts. The promise of the New Covenant was the promise of a new heart, that God would transform his people from the inside out. Jesus warned the religious folks of his day to do more than clean the outside of their lives; they must have inner renewal. Paul talks about the outer man suffering and wasting away, and so he focuses on and prays for the renewal and strengthening of the inner man.
So why soul? Because soul-level change is real change. Because soul-level knowledge of the Gospel is real knowledge. Because soul-level living is real living. Because soul-level renewal is real renewal. Because soul-level love is real love.