Where’s Your Heart?
Where’s your Heart? That was the quintessential question posed by Pastor Justin, a young Pastor from Nashville, Tennessee. He stood before our group of 22 men from Genesis Church at a men’s retreat in Lake Barkley, Kentucky.
He was the guest speaker and was speaking to us on a late Friday night. I was tired and ready to go to bed after a long day and long trip to Kentucky. Justin didn’t waste any time getting down to business as he peeled back the story of David, the great Israelite King from the Old Testament.
Justin highlighted that David was chosen to replace Saul as King of Israel, not because of his stature or status in life, but because of his heart. I heard that many times before, but the critical question Justin asked was, “where was MY heart?”
Was God pleased with my heart? That was a hard question for me to answer, because I would like to say that my heart was with Jesus, my wife, my children, my church, and with all the other men that were with me at the retreat that weekend, but how could I be sure, how did I really know?
I’m a driven person, especially since I turned 40 years old this year and can feel a sense of urgency to master some of my gifts over the next ten years. I wake up every day with a clear purpose, but is it the right purpose?
I contemplated Justin’s question a lot as I read Jon Acuff’s book, Start, on a recent business trip. John states that the best indicator to discover your heart is by inspecting your calendar. What do you have booked every day? Where do you spend your time? I took that question one step further and began asking myself, where do I spend my time first? What do I do when I first wake up every morning?
I didn’t like what my calendar revealed. I woke up every morning at 5:00 am and sauntered down to my office to write. I wrote consistently everyday in order to sharpen my skills and to find my voice. I didn’t spend time with my family, because they were in a deep sleep and would probably be a little grumpy if I woke them up to play a round of Monopoly while it was still dark outside, but more importantly I didn’t spend any time with the Lord.
For many years, I told myself and others that God came first, but did my schedule reflect that? Not even close! Not only was I not spending time with the Lord in the morning, but I was not spending time with Him at all! Once I became aware of that, I decided to change immediately. I made the simple commitment to spend some time in the Bible, in prayer, and in meditation in the Lord’s presence before anything else each morning. Why? Because I am most alert and sharpest in the early morning hours and I want to give the Lord my best.
I started a personal Bible study a few years ago and began journaling what I learned each day, but I got away from it and began to depend less on God and more on myself to accomplish my dreams and goals. Pastor Justin reminded me at the men’s retreat, that when I lean on my own understanding, it leads to death, and I don’t like that so much.
The next question I began to ask myself, am I pursuing the right purpose? I believe that question becomes irrelevant, if you are in relationship with God. I know that if I spend each morning in communion with God that it will be impossible for me to not discover and remain in purpose with what the Lord has planned in my life. I also know that if I remain in association with godly men, that they will hold me accountable to that purpose.
So the question we must all answer at the end of the day is, “where is my heart?” For me, as a Christian, trusting in the Lord is my ultimate answer, like it says in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.”
Wherever you may be in your phase of life, just ensure that you always put the first things first and reflect on your calendar to make sure that the important aspects of your life are covered properly and if they are not, change it immediately and get back on your right path today! Where is your heart?