Guard Your Heart

Guard your heart…

“Let it be closely garrisoned. Let the sentinel never be sleeping at its post . . . if the citadel is be taken, the whole town must surrender. If the heart be seized, the whole man—the affections, desires, motives, pursuits—all will be yielded up.

The heart is the vital part of the body. A wound here is instant death. Thus—spiritually as well as naturally—out of the heart are the issues of life. It is the great vital spring of the soul, the fountain of actions, the center and the seat of principle, both of sin and holiness (Matthew 12:34–35).

The natural heart is a fountain of poison (Matthew 15:19). The purified heart is a well of living water (John 4:14). As is the fountain, so must be the streams. As is the heart, so must be the mouth, the eyes, the feet.

Therefore, above all keeping, keep thine heart. Guard the fountain, lest the waters be poisoned. . . . Many have been the bitter moments from the neglect of this guard. All keeping is vain, if the heart not be kept.

Did you catch that? All Bible study, all mission trips, all marriage vows, and all worship is in vain if the heart is not kept.”

Source: Steve Farrar, How To Ruin Your Life by 40 (Moody Publishers, 2006) p128.

Convergence

Steve Farrar in How To Ruin Your Life by 40:

Convergence is “a time in your life where, after intense preparation, including successes and failures and many testings, God brings you to a place in life where your strengths are maximized and your weaknesses covered.”

If you are in your 20s right now, the idea might not hit you as powerfully as it would if you’re thirty. I am thirty, and the more I think about my age, the more I realize that Farrar is talking much sense in this book. Many people pass by their twenties in a blurry haze, making decisions like they are going to stay 20 for the rest of their lives. But time flies fast; we all know that.

I often think that I am still very young, you know, as young as the college students in our campuses today. But whenever I get blank stares and a few laughs when I mention Spice Girls and BackStreet Boys, I realize that I belong to a bygone era of the late nineties. When that happens, I’d catch myself doing quick Math, only to further realize that it’s been ten years since I graduated. I’m halfway through life. In ten years time, I will turn forty, a time in a person’s life when he has got to face himself in the mirror and ask hard questions like, “What do I have to show for my 40 years of existence?”

If Farrar is right about the idea of convergence, then I better start asking some hard questions now. I don’t want to wake up 3,650 days from now and be jolted with a realization that my strengths haven’t been maximized.

There is an obscure verse in Lamentations 3: 27- 29 that I often read without really understanding why I like it. It says:

It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.
Let him sit alone in silence, for the LORD has laid it on him.
Let him bury his face in the dust— there may yet be hope.

It is okay for us to go through some hardships and tough times when we are young, if only to develop integrity and Godly character that would be our ticket to growing old gracefully.