I think intentionality is key to most spiritual, soulful endeavors. By itself curiosity is interesting, but usually goes nowhere on its own. Curiosity is a bit like a puppy. It is fun to watch; but it is impetuous. It darts here and there. There is a great deal of fury, but nothing really is accomplished. Ultimately, there is no plan, no advancing, no achieving. These may seem like funny words for the soul seeker, but without a plan, advance, and achieving, then I do not see how one is growing at all. But we do need one part curiosity.
And then I do believe there is a role in spirituality for being a sleuth. I admit that I like this word. The roots of the word go back to the Middle Ages. It is a variation of the word, “bloodhound.” By the 19th century it comes to mean “investigation.” Of course, many folks think of Sherlock Holmes when we employ the word, sleuth.
In that context I hope it is clear why the soul seeker needs to be a sleuth. I like the fact that the word, sleuth, is both a noun and a verb. I am a sleuth. That is the noun. But I probably will never be a noun---sleuth---unless I “do the verb.” To do the verb means I start sleuthing!
Sleuthing is precisely the way we go about seeking soul. As I understand the verb, sleuth, there is no blueprint. Not one of us is handed a guaranteed “seeking soul manual,” where we will automatically succeed in finding soul if the manual is meticulously followed. Part of me wishes that were true. But a deeper part of me is really glad I have to be a sleuth.
Here’s the trick. I am convinced good sleuths have a great deal of intentionality. Intentionality is the alternative to that “seeking soul manual” which no one gets. Intentionality is the driving force for seeking soul. Investigating where and when we might find soul takes time---and intentionality is what pushes us on through the time needed to seek our soul.
Because I do not think there is a blueprint for seeking soul, curiosity has its role to play. Curiosity leads us to go here, check out there, explore this, and try that---all of which brings experiences, which are the seedbed of finding soul.
I am convinced soul is not found in the abstract. Soul is discovered in the experience---in the moment with the Spirit. In that soulful moment we feel grounded, connected, alive, free, committed and so much more. As we begin to use language like this, we know we are not so much soul seeking as soul finding. This is great!
But it never lasts---at least the experience of soul finding never lasts. Seeking soul is a bit like eating. We can, indeed, find soul---find those soulful moments, events, and relationships. But because we are creatures of time, they come and they go. But that’s ok.
As a soul seeker, I mix again: one part curiosity, one part sleuth, and two parts intentionality. There is always enough intentionality to push on…to pursue the curiosity in me and to start sleuthing in ways and places (often surprising) that will enable me to find soul again.
I welcome this new day…another chance to seek soul!