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Monday, October 17, 2016

One more Cheerio

Heed counsel, act on instruction, and you will become wise later in life. The impulses of the human heart may run wild, but the Eternal’s plan will prevail. (Proverbs 19:20-21 VOICE)
I imagine there aren't too many of us that want to go through life not ever learning anything at all. In fact, we began life by exploring things around us until we became acquainted with what they were and how we could "engage" with whatever it was. If it was a toy that would make noise when shaken, we delighted in the discovery of that simple movement producing something which could make us that giddy. If it was the splendor of spearing our first Cheerio on fingertip and actually accomplishing the arrival of said Cheerio into our waiting mouth, we reveled in the moment of satisfying crunch and awesome display of advancing hand-eye "skill". As we got older, the things we found ourselves learning may not have been that simple, or produced that much enthusiastic glee in the accomplishing, but they are lessons embraced, skills learned, and treasures we can lay up, nonetheless.
Probably the greatest "skill" we learn over the course of time living out live in the presence of Jesus is this idea of how "wild" our hearts can be and how much they actually need a little "taming" with regards to the stuff they find themselves attracted to so easily. God made us with "heart" because passion is a big part of us learning new things, embracing new challenges, and being determined in our focus. Without heart, we are merely robots! So, learning how to "tame" the heart is a good thing, but one which requires skill way beyond our own personal talent. It requires the skill of the craftsman who made it in the first place!
Two things God asks of us in this process of "taming" our hearts: Heed his counsel and act on his instruction.  To heed really means we simply pay attention. A long time ago, someone told me they know I am paying attention because I am present with them in the moment - there is some type of connection made between us that lets them know I am right there, totally focused, and intent on what they are sharing or doing.  I don't think it is much different in our relationship with Jesus  -  he wants us there "present in the moment" -  not star-gazing or mindlessly nodding our ascent to something he asks us to do.  The closer we listen to his counsel, the more we will be able to understand his instruction and act upon it without hesitation. Now, let me assure you, I don't always act without hesitation - sometimes I need a little convincing the thing I am about to do is the right thing in the right timing.  The more I listen to his counsel, the easier it becomes for me to actually move when he tells me to move and sit still when he knows I am about to make a pretty unwise move!
The "taming" of our hearts isn't really rocket science - it is purely focused obedience. Turning our attention to him, listening intently to what he instructs, then putting one foot in front of the other in obedience to what he asks. The first time we speared the Cheerio was a surprise to us that we actually accomplished such an advanced feat. The second one was probably as equally surprising, but in time, the movement of those Cheerios into the empty space of our mouths became a thing of beauty. We didn't stop there, though, because eventually a spoon was added to the high chair tray and we began that "learning" process all over again. We aren't going to just heed and act once - it is a continual process! Just sayin!