Spiritual Tourism and the Care of the Soul

touristimages   Soul Care is NOT spiritual tourism! We've all probably said these things:I got the book—but I never read it.I did a retreat once—but that was a long time ago.I heard about solitude—but I am too busy to do it.I’m too busy—I can’t find any time for myself.I tried silence—but didn’t like what I heard in my own head. So I quit.I keep going—because I don’t want to look inside—it’s too scary.I always wear ear buds—I don’t like to be quiet.I’m tired and worn out but have not stopped to consider what my weariness is doing to those I love; live with and work with.Most people know the joy of being a tourist for a few days. We work hard all year so the anticipation of taking some time off to go visit the beach; do an overnight in the mountains; swim in a stream; linger in a chair under a tree or sleep in late…finally. We like to visit places that give us the chance to have a break from the routine—to mix life up a little. We like to visit different places hoping that by a visit—by being a sort of tourist there will be some reward. What could be wrong with that?  There's nothing wrong with get-a-ways and taking trips. But...I know people that say when coming back from a 7 day trip to somewhere, “I ‘did’ Europe.” Or “We did Italy.” They are saying to us, they visited a few places, drank a bottle of wine; walked into too many smelly museums and perhaps enjoyed a pizza under some multi-colored umbrella in a sidewalk cafe. But ask any Italian if they “did” Italy. They’d laugh you off your chair.Spiritual Tourism works much the same way as “doing” a national park; another country such as Cuba—the new, hot destination of all destinations or eating at a new, trendy restaurant. We think we’ve “done” it simply because we crossed a border or spent the night in a small hotel. You may stick your toe into a new place but does that mean you’ve actually experienced the beauty; witnessed the culture and tasted something so different you feel as if you’ll never be the same again? Spiritual Tourism is akin to church hopping; hearing speakers as a fetish; doing the latest fads and applying all the latest tips and techniques offered by so many these days. It's like listening to lots of podcasts and flipping through a whole lot of books without every really digesting what is being shared. It's skimming. It's doing Europe in 7 days and believing that you've actually "been there and done that!"The more I hear people catching on to the phrase “soul care”—the more I see a tendency to witness people treating caring for their soul like a place you visit once or twice—if you’re lucky---but you certainly can’t stay there too long. After all, there is work to be done; tasked to be checked off; quotas to be met; benchmarks to be realized. Whose got time to care for their soul when the ship is going down; people are suffering and there’s money to be made? Here's the deal: [tweetthis] Soul Care is NOT spiritual tourism![/tweetthis]Soul Care is not a box you check. Soul Care is not an event you attend. It is not a message you hear about and assume you’ve “got it.” Soul Care is not a place you visit.Caring for your soul is altering the entire way you look at life—live your life—and find contentment within you never knew was possible. Soul Care is a whole “other” way to view life and faith. It is integrating all of life into one whole life—not trying to spin the plates to keep everything in life afloat. I'd highly recommend you get and read one of my books to help you explore what Soul Care is and what Soul Care is NOT. Soul Custody    At Potter’s Inn, we expose people to this whole other way of doing life and we train they how to practice the care of their soul with tools and practices that are not modern, new or rocket science. People learn that soul care is not a place you tour. It is not a book you read once and then move on to the next exciting thing. It is a way of life that fosters life within and resilience without.Soul Care is not an “add on” to one’s faith. It is not a pill you swallow. It is not a luxury that only a few people can experience. It is not tied to geography of the mountains or the beach. It is practiced in urban and crowded settings as well as vast, barren landscapes. The place that matters is within—the heart that the wisest of all human beings said, “Guard your heart for within flows the wellspring of life (Prov. 4:23). Where there is desert within and no wellspring…there is need for soul care. Soul Care is learning to guard your heart; keep your soul and strengthen your soul. Caring for your soul is requires a waking up—an awakening to this simple truth: there is something more to life than making more bricks with less straw.   All of us feel the tyranny of the urgent to do more with less. But caring for your soul is most often about doing less than doing more—that’s the paradigm shift you embrace when caring for your soul.I'll be expanding on these thoughts in upcoming blogs! 

 FB Ad-Promo Soul Care 101Soul Care 101:  Spiritual Conversations by the Crackling Fire A Unique new learning experience is coming soon! In today’s fast moving world, there is a “dis-ease” within us: hurry sickness, being always on and always available; competing demands and being over-committed. We’re tired, worn out and burned out on religion. We struggle to care for others and while abandoning our own health.Soul Care establishes care for one’s soul so that we can then care for others. Caring for your soul is never a selfish act. As we care for our own soul, we find that we are then able to give, serve and extend ourselves without burning out or living with a perpetual state of exhaustion. Soul Care is a practice we can enjoy that helps us foster a sense of vitality, resiliency; and a deeper spiritual journey.Soul Care 101: Spiritual Conversations by the Crackling Fire is an easy to use; go at your own pace, learn individually or in a group resource led by Stephen and Gwen Smith of Potter’s Inn Ministry. Stephen and Gwen lead us in eight engaging conversations about soul care. Set in the beautiful retreat called Potter’s Inn at Aspen Ridge in Colorado, the fireplace conversations provide a place for us to explore some of the great foundational themes of caring for our souls.  Each session includes a 15 minute video talk by Steve and Gwen Smith; notes for you to use of the actual talk itself and a study guide with questions to help you explore the subject.  Soul Care 101 will require the use of Embracing Soul Care; The Jesus Life,  Soul Custody and Inside Job all by Stephen W. Smith.  All these books are available as E books or you can purchase them when you order Soul Care 101.Here’s an overview of the sessions:Soul Care 101: Spiritual Conversations by the Crackling FireSession 1: Understanding Soul CareSession 2: The Anatomy of the SoulSession 3: Rhythm and Caring for your SoulSession 4: Jesus’ Model for RhythmSession 5: Core Questions: Am I Loved?Session 6: Core Questions: Am I Safe? Do I Belong?Session 7: God’s Design for our DilemmaSession 8: Four Pillars of Sabbath Keeping Soul Care 101 will be available in three options: 
  1. An on line webinar with homework and group discussion.  Individual Spiritual Direction with Steve or Gwen. LIMITED to 20 people.
  2. DVD's. You'll be able to purchase DVDs and have the entire series along with the notes and study guides.
  3. Streaming. You'll be able to stream wherever you are/as you can and work through Soul Care 101.

Keep watching for the release-- July 1 is our goal!