Monday, August 15, 2011

Listen To Your Heart

This was published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail on Sunday, August 14, 2011~

The summer of 2011 is slipping through our fingers and I’m feeling a little wistful.  Nothing makes time pass more quickly than another birthday. The older we get, the faster the hands on the clock seem to turn.  And we watch helplessly as each new year vanishes like a stone in deep water.

It’s been such a short time since school was dismissed for the summer. Already, every store is advertising and displaying “Back to School” clothing and supplies. Once the kids are back in school, can the holidays be far behind?  I wonder why the seasons are so rushed. 

It seems we no sooner begin to enjoy one time of year until another begins. As children, it seemed we had all the time in the world.  The long days of summer were enjoyable, but when it was time to go back to school, most of us were excited and ready for the change.  It seemed that Christmas would never get here, but now, one holiday blends into the next – the seasons merge – years hurry by and the first thing we know, we’re spending our days looking back on the past or rushing toward tomorrow’s task instead living in the moment.

This feels wrong.  We should take more time to enjoy our lives—to stop and smell the roses.  Otherwise, we get caught up in the current and never know what true joy is.  If we do not decide what to do with our days, it is decided for us.  If we do not take control of the time God gives us, the days fly by and the years become a blur. Our hearts fill with the things of the world, or as Paul calls them: "the lust of the flesh and eyes and the pride of life." (1 John 2:15-17)  Yet, our heart truly does know what is most important. We just need to listen.

·         The heart knows that we must have a personal relationship with our Lord.  Having a personal relationship with God means we should include Him in our daily lives. We should pray to Him, read His word, and meditate in an effort to get to know Him better.

·        The heart knows that prayer and praise should be part of our daily life. When we’re suffering, we’re told to go before the Lord in prayer. When things are going well and we are filled with joy, we’re told to sing praise, which is another important part of prayer. Too often we think of prayer as a time of asking God for favors or a time of serious contemplation.  But another aspect of prayer is joyful worship for all that He has done for us. If we learn to sing praise during the good times, then when trouble comes, it will be easier to have faith when we go to God in prayer.

·        The heart knows that we must treat others with love. Philippians 2:3-4 says, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

·        The heart knows that we must transform and renew our mind. Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will."

·        The heart knows it is important to share our faith. Matthew 5:14-16 says, "You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven."

·         Last but not least, the heart knows that we must live for something big – something that will count for eternity.  There is nothing bigger, or greater than God’s work!  Live for God’s Work! Live for God’s glory!  Many people are living only for their own glory. What a waste! There is nothing bigger, nothing greater than God’s glory!

It is not the fact that time passes so quickly, but how we spend it that is truly important.  Time is a gift from God.  Invest it wisely.

And by all means, listen to your heart!