From the earliest pages of Scripture, the growing person is challenged to monitor the soul, for feelings, attitudes, motives, prevailing spiritual conditions. The failure to do so regularly is an invitation to a shrinking spirituality.
Some years ago I visited with a faculty member of the prep school I attended as a teenager. At the time my son, Mark, was 13 years old, and so I wasn't surprised when asked if he would be following in my footsteps and enrolling in the school. Sending Mark there would have meant a geographical separation of three states and seeing him only on vacations.
"No, he won't be coming," I responded, startling even myself with the hastiness of my answer.
"Can I ask why?" the question came back.
I heard myself say, "Frankly, I love Mark and enjoy him so much that I'm not prepared to part with him. He not only needs me as his father, but I need him. He is my only son."
When I said those words, I suddenly felt a powerful streak of rage sweep through my entire ...1