Excerpt from The Tortured Soul Gardner edition

Tomorrow we continue the Soul Detox series at Indian Creek. Here is an excerpt from the message I’ve written for the Gardner campus: 

Many people focus on detoxing to keep our bodies healthy, which is good, but I want to talk about detoxing to keep our souls healthy.  There are many in our culture who will look great on the outside but are tortured on the inside.  

The Tortured Soul
Today we are talking about the Tortured Soul. Unfortunately, this is a subject that I know too much about. We will get into this more in a minute but people tend to have a tortured soul, either because of what they’ve done or what they believe. Often the two go together.

I moved to K.C. in 1979. So I was new to the city in the early 80s. One day I was driving down the Paseo, which is in KCMO, and feeling a bit intimidated because I was in new surroundings. There were four lanes, two going each direction. I noticed a semi-trailer truck up about 4 blocks head attempting to make a turn across my lanes. He was having a hard time completing his turn. Perhaps that was why there was a sign on the road that read, “No trucks”. I was watching him and getting ready to change lanes when I noticed a group of four grade school kids standing on the corner to my left. My light was green and I wasn’t speeding so I simply saw them out of the corner of my eye and didn’t focus on them. All of a sudden, the four children sprinted across the road right in front of me. I hit the brake quickly and saw that three of them were going to clear the lane easily. Unfortunately, one of the four was more than a little overweight and the spirit was willing but his body was unable. I hit him with the right front of my bumper. 

I’ll never forget the sound or the sight. It was awful. I threw the car in park and jumped out ready to give CPR if necessary. He was alive and to make a long story short he lived. There was a young mother on the corner who called 911. They got him in the ambulance and on to the hospital. I got a ticket for “Inattentive driving” but fortunately the witness vouched for me that the kids never should have run across the road when they did and the ticket was thrown out.

There were days where every time that I closed my eyes I saw the whole thing happening over again. I replayed it many times trying to think through everything to see if there was anything I could have done differently. No matter how I tried to replay the tape it always ended the same. I was a tortured soul for a long time.

It reminded me of what the Apostle Paul said, in Romans 7, if you’re a Christian, you might be able to relate with his battle. He said: I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, (which in my case was to let it go) but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. Romans 7:15

I knew I needed to give myself grace but although I might get control of my mind one time the battle would start all over the next time. I didn’t realize at the time that I was experiencing grief. I didn’t know what was healthy and normal and what was unhealthy. This was the first time I’d run into something that challenged me mentally and emotionally. I didn’t understand going into it what a difficult battle that could be. It is a soulish problem. So when I talk about a tortured soul today, unfortunately, I have a fair amount of experience with this for multiple reasons.

If we had a chance to talk one on one today it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that you’ve probably had some experience in your life where you’ve experienced something torturous to your soul. I’ll go back to what I said earlier before I started my story. We tend to be troubled in our soul by either things we’ve done or things we believe. In my case it started out as something I did but later it became something I believed.

You’ll have to come to get the rest…hope to see you tomorrow.