Carelessness is not our problem. At least, it’s not the primary problem. Most people turn off the stovetop before they leave their homes. They do not take unnecessary risks. Generally speaking, most people are not careless.
No, our problem mostly is that our lack of carelessness does not extend far enough into the important areas of our lives – like the matter of one’s soul. “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen.”
To be diligent with our souls is to remember the works of God in the world. The Israelites remembered God’s discipline of them at Baal-peor – that this was a God of justice. And they recalled the words at Horeb – that this was a God of truth and righteousness. As a result, they honored him with obedience. They refused to make idols because their God did not need to take physical form to make himself known to them.
Christians remember the death of the Son of God. In Jesus Christ, God did appear to his people in physical form. And he worked miracles, and the most miraculous of those was the resurrection of the dead.
We keep our souls diligently by recalling these things, keeping them at the front of our minds, so that we will not forget the things we’ve come to know about God.
But we tend to be careless about such things. It is enough, we think, to keep food on the table and gas in the car and the children and grandchildren well-adjusted and supplied with the things they need. And we lose sight of our souls.
A soul that is not given care, that is not “kept,” is a soul that will wither. This, of course, is why we gather as a church and why we share at the Lord’s Supper. And it is why we pray and regularly take stock of God’s Word.
To neglect these things is to neglect our souls.