Today started, unfortunately, like many other days. With one eye half open and the other glued shut by sleep crusties, I pried myself out of bed and plodded down the stairs to eat my cereal. It wasn’t long before my slothfulness caused the clock to get away, and by the time my boss drove up I was running late and harried.
My lovely wife is often the calming force in these last minutes of pre-work panic. She’ll stand patiently at the door, waiting for a have-a-great-day kiss while I scurry around in a mad dash to round up my keys, wallet, phone and other paraphernalia.
This morning was only different in that I was in extra distress, having misplaced my favorite Gilligan’s Island-style hat and sunglasses. I was distractedly bemoaning my misfortune when I noticed the curious expression of amusement on my beloved’s face. I followed her gaze, looked down, and realized I had my hands in my pants.
Not in my pockets, mind you.
There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this unconscious act. As I ran out the door this morning sans hat and glasses, I was automatically making sure that I hadn’t misplaced everything.
In the beginning, the Creator bestowed upon men the desire and ability to hold onto those things in life that are most important. In our pre-sin state, my brethren and I instinctively protected that which was closest to our hearts: items such as wives, tools, and the family jewels.
Things have changed since the days of Adam and Eve, and now we are often less than what we were meant to be. At times, the random ball grab is the only obvious remnant of our Eden-esque instinct. Current music videos suggest that for many men, the family jewels are the only thing they consider worthy of a good grip.
The Bible is full of admonitions to hold and guard the things that matter, but my favorite is from the book of wisdom:
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
(Proverbs 4:23 English Standard Version.)
I wish I could say that I’ve always been as diligent with my heart as I am with other things. Sadly, that isn’t the case.
How about you? Do you regularly ensure that your heart is in a place of secure, gracious freedom? Or like an out-of-control gopher on the interstate, do you let it run after any tasty morsel it sees? Perhaps you have a measure of self control, but if the trap is baited with a scrap of chocolate…or a bit of gossip…or a little Harley Davidson?
I think we all have our vices.
Thankfully, we can trust our hearts to God. Those who put themselves in the arms of the Redeemer place themselves in the strongest grip of all. In His hands we find the power to lay hold of and guard those things that have eternal value, as well as grace and forgiveness when we let those same things slip away.
“…I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12 New International Version)
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…” (Deuteronomy 33:27 New International Version)
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