Sixth grade class play. Sitting on the dusty stage, gazing across at the little red-headed boy. Who knew a heart could swell so big? Little kids and country singers know the secret of grand dreams, great loves, and gargantuan disappointments. You have to live with your whole heart.
I have been learning again lately about living by heart. About rejecting duty and dogma in favor of deep-rooted, upwelling joy. About the heart-need for heart-nourishment, rest, and protection. About guarding my heart, remembering my first love (not the little red-headed boy), and putting a picket fence around what’s important.
At our house, we’ve been using the term “sabbatical heart.” Having just come home from a five-month sabbatical, we gave our hearts a much-needed vacation, the chance to breathe. So a “sabbatical heart” is thankful, not grasping, trusting, not fearful, rested, not rushed. It’s a rocking chair on the front porch, a walk in the woods, pineapple upside-down cake and a game of Catan. It’s a long soak in Psalms, prayer that’s conversation, and a good laugh. In my new favorite phrase, it’s unhooked and unhindered, free. And it really doesn’t give a hoot what anyone else thinks.
What if you lived from the heart? Made decisions on a heart-level? Would it transform your marriage? Your family? Your vocation? Grab a concordance, see what the Bible has to say on the subject. God isn’t shy about wanting your whole heart.
- Love me with all your heart
- Serve me with all your heart
- Trust me with all your heart
- Seek me with all your heart
- Praise me with all your heart
- Follow me with all your heart
- Obey me with all your heart
- Have a soft heart
- Have a heart that yearns for God, pounds for God, is fully devoted, stirred, steadfast, secure and undivided
- Above all else guard your heart
- Keep your heart pure
- Rend your heart
- Rejoice with all your heart
I heard the folk singer, Dave Wilcox, talking not long ago about a conversation his head had with his heart. “I don’t understand,” his head said. “It’s not in your language,” answered his heart.
How much do I need those conversations? The ones where my heart gives my head a talking-to. Not logic, not cut-and-dried or should-and-shouldn’t. Love. Joy. Heart.