The Heart

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One of the things that I love/hate about teaching the words of God each week is that the Father relentlessly, yet gently presses me to apply what I am learning. I love it because it is refreshing and wonderful and exhilarating. I hate it because in the gentle press of the Father – I am lead to let go of me and hold on to Him. That sounds so cliche and yet it is so real – so daunting, to let go of my “relational strategies”, my defense mechanisms, my idols, myself. Call them what you will – the stuff where I try to maintain control and save face and be my own master – is what I am pressed to relinquish.

From experience, I know that it is a sweet surrender, and yet it is difficult none the less. In this last week, I have been pressed to look at my heart – to look at ways that I have shut down my heart because of hurts – because of being let down by others.

My greatest temptation has been to stop looking at my heart – to get back to life – to get back on the task/achievement/busyness train. Ah, the distracting nature of keeping busy and “staying on task.” It can be quite a narcotic from the pain of life – only to leave me all the more dissatisfied and frustrated. So, this week, the Father has gently called me to make sure that I pay attention to my heart and share it with others and be real.

Here’s the deal on what I’ve been learning: because of the hurt of feeling like I’ve never been allowed to have problems (as a kid, I had people in my life threaten to tell others of problems) – I decided a long time ago that I couldn’t trust anyone with the real me. I decided that I could share the good things and simply omit anything else. I’ve never felt like anyone really cared so I’ve set out to care for others … and with being a pastor, most people assume all is ok – so, I play along with the charade – often, very unknowingly. The Father has gently led me to open my heart – to allow others to care – to allow others to be there for me. Knowing that I may be hurt, but trusting Him anyway. Ah, what a ride.

“In the conflict we wage outwardly against the enemy, our chief concern is with the inner state and disposition of the heart.” J. J. Van Oosterzee

Father God, may you protect me from myself so that I may allow you to work in my heart. Protect me from the narcotic of “getting back to work.”

“Guard your heart, for from it, flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4;23

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~ by Ted Wueste on February 23, 2008.

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