Days That Shape The Soul



If you were offered a chance to go back and revisit a day in your past, would you? Which day would you pick?

I asked myself this question yesterday as I sat watching a dozen or so wheelchair bound individuals swinging foam noodles at a balloon. I wondered what day they would pick if asked. Would a day playing the noodle game be worth revisiting – I wondered.

Our life is a masterful architectural linking of moments that together create a framework for our story, the story of our soul. No moment stands alone and yet each one carries its own weight while our heart and soul are being constructed from the inside.

Some days hold great experiences – events we wish would never end, while others are deeply sorrowful. And some days don’t seem memorable at all.

I’m not sure what day I would revisit if I could.

Happy days are easy to recall like the birth of my children, or trips to faraway places, but in the bigger scheme of things, I don’t need to relive them. They’re part of who I am and deeply rooted in my story.

I have many days I wish I could go back and do over. There are words I wish I hadn’t spoken and days poor choices affected the rest of my life. But admittedly those days are also deeply rooted in who I am.

The white haired souls at the nursing home are nearing the end of their days. Much of their time is spent alone with themselves – wandering the hallways of their memories. I asked one of the more lucid individuals which day she would revisit if she could. Her answer was simple. “Days can’t be separated from each other. Separating days would be like trying to take apart a fully baked cake”.

The mysterious soul within each of us – our eternal soul, is grown and shaped by our day to day life experiences. Whether encased in tragedy, celebration, boredom, or fairness – we become the unfolding of its masterful creation for God’s eternal use.

It may feel as though we’ve fallen victim to a faulty cake recipe. And some days might seem as though our only accomplishment is smacking a silly balloon around the room. But the truth is, every day is a gift. And the shaping of our soul is the greatest mystery we’re invited to read and write.

“Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of a great mystery.”
Annie Dillard

22 replies on “Days That Shape The Soul”

    1. I need a continuous refocusing on the “big picture” too, Leanne. Appreciate your thoughts, as always.

  1. it’s interesting to me that my mind doesn’t go back to the good days but would rather want to revisit the harder days of my past. Maybe regrets are things that linger more in our memories than the highpoint happy days of our past. Very nice post, Pat. Thought provoking…

    1. How sad, but probably true, our regrets want to stay with us longer than they should. My mind also wanders through places and events I wish went differently. I’m so thankful for grace and forgiveness, also for divine destiny and purpose in the mystery.

      Appreciate you Rachel.

  2. Wow, Pat. That’s some huge question you’ve put on the table! And I don’t think there’s an easy answer.

    So … I guess I’ll stay focused on today. Even though it’s ordinary and unexciting.

    So far.


    1. According to my new friend at the nursing home – today is cake baking day! Staying in this ordinary, unexciting day is where we belong, isn’t it Linda. You always make me smile and are anything but unexciting 🙂

  3. Theologian and philosopher… do those words go together? Great job of weaving a created consciousness and thought provoking philosophical questions. I know you have made your readers think.

    Well written Pat.

    1. Coming from one of my favorite master teachers, I take that as a very high compliment. Thank you Louis W Mann.

  4. Okay Pat, I thought about this extensively and the day I would revisit is the day my unsaved husband (of eight long terrible years) gave his heart to the Lord. He literally rose up from the altar a new man JUST LIKE THE WORD SAYS, 2nd Cor. 5:17. I would love to revisit that day, NOT A DRY EYE IN THE CHURCH except mine! I was in shock! Your elderly friend is right Pat, our lives are like a cake, a cake God is putting together and ordaining, He is good all the time! Can’t wait to see all the “cakes” in heaven. What a glorious sight that will be!

    1. Beautiful! And think of the many lives affected by that one day and decision – mine included.

      Isn’t it mindboggling to think we could very possibly revisit that day in Heaven as our stories are retold and celebrated. Yes, it will be a glorious sight! Thank you for sharing this, Jeannie. So many memories come with your words. xoxo

  5. You done did it again, Dear Friend! You neatly and superbly packaged your gift of wisdom and discernment, and blessed us! I was JUST talking to one of my sisters about a companion ‘gift’ that God gave me recently – the ability to stop resisting LIFE as it wants to happen and just go with it, and the relief/release of anxiety that has produced. (And the next time I go to the dollar store, some noodles and balloons are on the list – I’d rather play NOW, with the grandkids, making some great ‘revisiting’ days for them and me!)

    1. Wonderful companion gifts to possess, Conni. Please invite me over when you purchase the noodles and balloons. I’d like a little less resistance and a little more release in my life too! Thanks so much for sharing.

  6. Hi Pat! I haven’t got many ideas of what day I would revisit either… My mom died in 2010, and I would like to go back and have lunch with her again. Just to hear her voice, her crazy plans…that would be nice.
    I’ve made mistakes in the past, and will in the future too, but I like that it’s all a part of a cake. Might not be the prettiest in the bakery, but I know I tried. That must count for something.
    Hope you had a restful day,

    1. We’re never quite ready to say good-bye to our loved one, are we Ceil. Just reading about your relationship and desire to see your mom again brought a smile to my face. She must have been a very special person.

      Thanks so much for sharing. And for the record – I think you’re an exceptional baker.

  7. I enjoyed reading this. Working with older people can bring such moments of illumination, I treasure the time I spend with older relatives and neighbours for all I learn from and with them.

    1. Thank you Juliet. I wholeheartedly agree with you, often we visit the elderly to offer encouragement and leave with more than we give. I crave “moments of illumination” and believe every person has some to share. We just need to slow down enough to watch and listen for it.

      I appreciate your comment very much and hope to hear from you again.

  8. Each day is a gift indeed. My Grandma is in a nursing home that plays that very game although she usually prefers just to watch. It’s not always easy to spend time with those near the end but always a blessing to me.

    1. It’s like you said in your post, It Is Well, “Give me your weary heart and I will make well your soul”. We give a little of our heart away each time we lend ourselves to someone else. But our Heavenly Father is always faithful to refill the weary when we turn to him.

      Thanks for visiting, Mindy. I enjoyed what you had to say.

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