Sunday, October 16, 2011

31 Days of Words for the Daily Dash-Day 16

I once told my kids that if I knew the wisest man in the world were going to be speaking in our town, I would take them out of school for the day, and we'd be waiting at the door to get front row seats. They didn't get too excited, because they knew where I was going with that statement. One of them mentioned something about Solomon, and another volunteered Proverbs. Then they heard me remind them that we all have access to the wisest man in the world's wisdom 24 hours/day, 7 days/ week. And it's from Proverbs that my next statement comes.

Guard your heart. 

That's actually the shortened version of Proverbs 4:23. The entire verse reads like this.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
But when I'm talking to my kids, a lot of times I use the Reader's Digest version. It's short and to the point. And they know what I mean. 

This generation has grown up being assaulted with information and images like no other. The whole world is a click away. When I was growing up, you either had to hit Spencer gifts in your local mall or brave the smirks from the 7-11 clerk who saw what you were buying to see what is now available in the comfort our own homes. What our eyes see can be imprinted on our brains forever. And unfortunately, while we can delete the history on our computer, we can't always delete what we'd like to from our brain.

In the same way, our ears can also be assaulted with language, written and spoken, that empties your heart and soul instead of filling it. Or, it poisons your heart and soul. And we are warned, by the wisest man who ever lived, to guard our heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

And Solomon begins that sentence, with above all else. This is Old Testament for  "Hello!! This is important! This is critical!" Because we aren't talking about your little toe, here. We are talking about your heart. It is where our life bubbles up from. Who we really are comes from it.

When I think of other precious things that are guarded - the Mona Lisa, the Hope Diamond, our U.S. Constitution, for examples - I think of armed guards, bullet proof glass, alarms, and lots of locked doors. We humans have said these inanimate objects are valuable and need to closely watched, protected. Our creator God says that our heart, the very essence of who we are, needs to be closely watched, protected, guarded. In the thesaurus, "guard" looks like this:

guardverb1:protectstand guard overwatch overkeep an eye oncoverpatrolpolicedefendshieldsafeguardkeep safesecure.

This is not a lay-on-the-couch kind of word. It is active. And purposeful. And vital. Because your very life is at stake. Guard your heart.

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