Why Knowing What S.O.S. Really Stands For Could Change Everything.

Somehow, I’ve gone through my whole life never knowing that S.O.S stood for “Save Our Souls.” I figured it meant “Save Our Ship” or some other variation of words starting with S.O.S.

sos-2The good news is that we don’t have to be desperate, in sinking ship, before praying that powerful prayer.

I recently finished an excellent book called “Soul Keeping” by John Ortberg. I’ve read a number of his books and this one is easily close to the top.

soul keeping

I thought I’d pass along a few of my learnings from this great read.

I love the gauge on my car that tells me exactly how many miles I can drive before running out of gas.

2011 Chevrolet Volt Driver Information CenterSomehow that little gauge gives me great peace of mind.

No one wants to run out of gas and get delayed, stranded or even just inconvenienced by running on empty.

It’s too bad our souls don’t come with a concrete, measurable gauge!

Yet, thankfully there are some very clear SIGNS that your soul is running close to empty:

      • Things seem to bother you more than they should. Your spouse’s gum-chewing suddenly reveals to you a massive character flaw!
      • It’s hard to make up your mind about even a simple decision.
      • Impulses to eat or drink or spend or crave are harder to resist than they otherwise would be.
      • You have less courage. Like Vince Lombardi always said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”
      • You are more likely to favor short-term gains in ways that leave you with high long-term costs. (pg. 131 Soul Keeping)

How can life be “HARD” and I still maintain a “SOFT” soul?

In the Bible, God never gives anyone an easy job. God never comes to Abraham, or Moses, or Esther and says, “I’d like you to do me a favor, but it really shouldn’t take much time. I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you.” God does not recruit like someone from the PTA. He says we should expect that the world will be hard, and that our assignments will be hard.

The Bible does use the word easy once, though. It came from Jesus. “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened…and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Easy is a soul word; not a circumstance word; not an assignment word.

"Aim at easy circumstances, and life will be hard all around."

"Aim at having an easy soul, and your capacity for tackling hard assignments will actually grow." John Orberg

The soul was not made for the easy life. The soul was made for an easy yoke. (pg. 126 Soul Keeping) 

A Few Of My Favorite QUOTES From The Book:

    • To lose my soul means I no longer have a healthy center that organizes and guides my life. I am a car without a steering wheel. It doesn’t matter how fast I can go, because I am a crash waiting to happen.
    • The point is that what Jesus said is true: gaining the outside world doesn’t help you if your inside world collapses.

"Habits eat will power for breakfast."

"The truth is, the soul’s infinite capacity to desire is the mirror image of God’s infinite capacity to give."

    • I cannot replace an idol by turning away from it. I must turn toward something.
    • Greatness of soul is available to people who do not have the luxury of being ecstatic about the condition and appearance of their bodies.
    • The soul knows a glory that the body cannot rob.
    • You can’t run in the dark. (referring to our need for trust and patience while experiencing the painful slowness of life during the “Dark Night of the Soul”)
    • My mind may be obsessed with idols; my will may be enslaved to habits; my body may be consumed with appetites. But my soul will never find rest until it rests in God. 

Jesus CARES more about your soul than you do.

“He restores my soul.” -Psalm 23:3
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” -Psalm 103:2
 “We have this hope as an anchor of the soul firm and secure.” -Hebrews 6:19


Take a moment to  pause and throw up a your own S.O.S prayer.

Today is a good day to come up with a soul care strategy that works for you.

Personal S.O.S. NEXT STEPS...

  • What intentional changes have you known you need to make to your daily or weekly routine to improve your soul care?
  • Which small changes could “soften” your soul in a big way, no matter the hardness of the circumstances you are facing?

After all, our soul is the most important part of who we are. And it’s the most easily neglected.


Join the conversation // leave a comment.


Photo credits: barringtonhillsobserver.com, audiobooks.com