Whole Hearted

Life, as a concept is much like a real human being. Blood and bone and muscles… gooey organs packed into a flesh container. It seems pretty precarious and complicated – how it functions, grows and then deteriorates. And so many things effect its processes.

There are positive equations- exercise, vegetables, sunshine, sleep. Friendship, hugs, worship of God, rest.
And negative, too- laziness, sugar, drugs, insomnia. Enemies, loneliness, self-centeredness, distraction.

We think if we just do enough of those positive things to tip the scales then life and body should be good. But there are always factors outside of our control.
And where does “inner peace” come from? Do you experience it? I know that I do and sometimes the distance between inner war and inner peace is merely shifting my focus. Sometimes it’s a matter of doing battle against whatever is coming against the peace. Sometimes I have to do battle with myself.

Where am I going with all of these random thoughts?…
I’ve been thinking lately about the things that make up a person- people that choose to follow God, those that choose to follow themselves, people who seem hardwired to selfishness and those who seem to gravitate toward selflessness. You might think everyone starts with the same tools and parts and outside influences direct them. Or maybe you see the diversity of our situations and you think some people have it easier, some people are equipped with more, some less.
I haven’t figured it all out, I’m just talking. I can’t experience life as anyone other than who I am… except that Paul says I can die with Jesus and be raised with Him and therefore live His life instead of my own. That’s pretty interesting, right? If you don’t know Jesus that well you might find that idea ¬†boring or even abhorrent. But if you know Jesus at all, you know how glorious it would be to live His life. Even with the rejection and pain involved, His life is the one I envy. Not because He is God and powerful, but because He didn’t war inside. He lived to God. He loved everyone and was always honest. He healed people, He saw people. He followed through with the hardest, but most rewarding sacrifice and He conquered death. Who can say that but Him?

In a culture of instant gratification Christianity is difficult. There is no perfect equation or method for finding God, for changing, for living a good life. Lately the only things I see as common threads are 1. realizing that your actions aren’t going to impact God’s love for you, good or bad and 2. Those who seem to “go far” with God are those who are whole-hearted. I’ve mentioned this idea before concerning Paul. If you think about some of the people in the Bible who God spoke to or through, except for Jesus they were all messy sinners. Abraham lied to kings about his wife, that she was his sister, because he was afraid. David totally ignored the fact that his son raped his daughter. Paul murdered Christians. Jacob manipulated his brother out of his birthright…. I mean, the list is long. If you know me, you probably know what I add to that list of messy…
But like them, will I be whole hearted for God?

Will you be? What do you prize most? What kind of life do you hope to live?  Are you willing to let go of instant fixes and persevere, give your whole heart and keep giving it?

What does whole hearted look like to you?

2 thoughts on “Whole Hearted”

  1. I like this.

    Today, we read John 21 (I think); the bit where the disciples have seen Jesus after his resurrection, but then they head to Galilee and one day Peter decides to go fishing. Jesus is on the shore as they’re coming in after a night of fruitless fishing and he yells that they should throw their nets over the right side. Of course, they haul in a huge load of fish and a few verses later, John says there were 153 large fish in the net, yet it didn’t break.

    That struck me as funny. They hauled in all those fish, and there’s Jesus–it’s only the third time they’ve seen him since he came back and they sit around a fire on the beach and count the fish, and John, many years later, remembers how many there were.

    It’s hard to be whole-hearted because there are so many distractions. So many little things to draw our attention away from God. We read about Jesus’ life and it’s so full of action. We read about the disciples sent out to evangelize and it’s the same, but that day, on the beach, they did the very ordinary thing of eating breakfast with their good friend, and they counted fish. We have those times too, and we just need to dedicate all of it to God… not just whatever “calling” we feel led to.

    1. Oh, I love that.
      I love the idea of allowing ourselves to be present with Jesus in every moment… not just the ones that seem holy or real Christian. Drinking a cup of coffee, doing the dishes, trimming our nails, grocery shopping.

      My friend Matt, of Matt and Emily… if you ask him at any given moment what he’s thinking about, it’s invariably going to be something really random and crazy. Like- he’s thinking about some battle from Star Wars and figuring out different strategies for that battle that didn’t happen in the movie but that he thinks would work better.
      I feel like Jesus is like that. “Hey, Jesus, what are you thinking about right now?” would be an awesome question to ask him in the middle of some mundane daily task.

Leave a Reply

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