Monday, August 16, 2010

Above All Else...

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

It is a phrase that has stuck with me since seeing Eat, Pray, Love. It's also a Proverb (4:23, to be exact). I love it.

For a long time, I thought "guard" meant protect, as in wall off. I kept it hidden, assuming that if it couldn't be found, it couldn't be hurt. It also couldn't be seen. I went through the actions of life without truly being connected to it.

As I think of it now, I realize that my thoughts, words and actions flow up from what is in my heart. And, what's in my heart depends on where it is focused.

If I have it focused on worldly things, my life will reflect that. If my heart's focus is on God, my life will reflect that as well.

If my heart is open to God's unfailing love for me, I will be able to offer love in return. If my heart is open to His words, I will be able to hear, and then act in a way that glorifies Him.

"Guarding" my heart is more like caring for my kids than putting up walls. Like my kids, my heart needs guidance and direction. When it starts to wander off task, or become distracted, it needs to be gently reminded to return. It needs kindness and encouragement. It needs to be protected from danger and temptation. It needs to be healthy and strong. It needs to be cared for. It needs to give and receive. It needs opportunities to experience joy. It needs clear boundaries and appropriate expectations. It needs to be loved unconditionally and know that it is Yours.

May I focus my heart toward You, and walk where You would have me go. Keep me open to Your guidance and wisdom and unafraid to let You pour forth.

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