Where the Heart is

I am approaching that time of year, in my preparation and planning, that I refer to as “the bosses birthday”. Christmas

There are services to plan, activities to co-ordinate, visits to make, family responsibilities and a diary full of places to be and things to do. All this happens before the big day itself.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not moaning or complaining. I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of ministers go through this routine year on year.

This year, I decided to take some deliberate, purposeful action during this rush time. I have been trying to keep an eye on the “inward movement of my heart” as Ignatitus of Loyola would describe it. Was my heart being drawn towards God or, was the pressure of day to day pulling my heart away from God.?

Why this focus at this time? It came from some reflections following my time reading an excellent Grove Booklet written by Graham Archer called “Don’t Lose Heart” in which he quotes Eric Devenport, the Bishop of Dunwich, speaking at a retreat in 1983. He says;

Clergy sometimes burn out, and that is a terrible thing; but more often they freeze up, grow cold and lose their passion. This is a very dangerous thing for the church, because all might appear well from the outside, but at heart level, the fire has gone out.

As I reflected on that quote I found myself thinking about how easy it is to, outwardly, go through the “Christian motions” whilst, inwardly, we are empty, dry and barren. As I have noticed the movement of my own heart, at those times when I feel my heart is moving from God I have tried to understand why this is happening and have sought to refocus myself. I found myself reading Hebrews 12 vs. 2 where the writer says we should

Fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12 vs 2)

He is absolutely right. When my focus is on Jesus, my heart is drawn more towards Him. When my focus is elsewhere then, my heart is drawn towards that. But how have I been doing that? Well, Eugene Peterson in his “The Message” version of the Bible translates Psalm 46 vs. 10 as;

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God,

There have been times when I have needed to “step out of the traffic”. To re-fix my eyes on Jesus and allowed my heart to be drawn closer to,Him. Where is your heart drawn at this time?

One thought on “Where the Heart is

  1. Where is my heart drawn, indeed! Where is it being drawn?

    As I think about that idea my slightly perverse mind sees a disembodied hand drawing a picture of a heart, and wonders where that action is taking place!

    Where is my heart being drawn today, and by whom? Is it being pictured, created, fashioned by the hand of the Master Artist in His divine studios of light, love and laughter, or is it being formed by a lesser creative being, be that simply myself or, God forbid, by another spirit from an altogether lower realm?

    Is my heart – my soft pliable heart – safe in the hand of the Maker of all hearts, as He forms me into the image of His Son, or is it at the mercy of some other hand with unknown motives, and desires which fall short of my ultimate wellbeing?

    Charles Wesley wrote:

    O for a heart to praise my God,
    A heart from sin set free;
    A heart that’s sprinkled with the blood,
    So freely shed for me:

    A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
    My great Redeemer’s throne;
    Where only Christ is heard to speak,
    Where Jesus reigns alone:

    A humble, lowly, contrite heart,
    Believing, true, and clean,
    Which neither life nor death can part
    From him that dwells within:

    A heart in every thought renewed,
    And full of love divine;
    Perfect and right and pure and good,
    A copy, Lord, of thine.

    Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart,
    Come quickly from above;
    Write thy new name upon my heart,
    Thy new best name of Love.

    Amen! What a wonderful hymn! Oh for such a heart indeed, and Oh for such a Lord to melt it and mold it and make it his own.

    May my heart — may all our hearts — be drawn towards our precious Lord Jesus at this tender time of year. As He draws and fashions our hearts, may He write His new name on them — the name of Love — and thus tattooed may we go into 2020 with a new resolve to speak Jesus, live Jesus, and be Jesus to the world around us, 24/7/365 — and on into eternity.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *