Also known as: What is the state of my heart? Answering a question I wrote for today’s Didache reflection
I always find myself surprised whenever I see a reflection I wrote in Didache1 during my prayer time. I guess sometimes I forget all about it, so seeing something familiar, or my name at the bottom always takes me by surprise.
That happened yesterday. I chuckled as I read my reflection knowing full well why I wrote it. :) Here’s the full text:
FOLLOW YOUR HEART
“For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts…” – Mark 7:21
It’s a popular saying: follow your heart. I’ve read a lot of books and watched a lot of movies that always had that same central message. Because, as they say, the heart knows where it’s going and it could lead you to where you really want to be.
For a long time, I believed that I shouldn’t trust my heart, because I couldn’t trust my desires. I always thought that whatever the heart wants was selfish — only for me, me, me and not for the greater good of other people. I didn’t believe in the saying “follow your heart” because I felt that whenever someone follows his or her heart alone, it would always lead into trouble. It would be something out of God’s will.
Right now I’m trying to unlearn that. In the past couple of years, I’ve learned that my deepest desires are the same desires that has God planted in me. These are the things He planted deep in my heart, the ones in line with His will.
And for me to know what these true God-given desires are, I’ve got to work to make my heart more like His.
What is the state of your heart?
Make my heart more like Yours, Lord.
I had to laugh when I saw the reflection question. I know why I wrote this exactly, but I found it funny that was the question I asked. What is the state of your heart? or, How’s your heart? is one of our favorite questions back when I was in YFC2. It’s a question that makes us stammer and falter to find the right answers that wouldn’t make us sound like a wuss, or at least someone very needy or desperate. In short, we all find ways to sum the answer up into two words: I’m okay.
Okay, maybe that’s just me. :P
Really and truly?
I’m trying. If there’s one word I can use to describe the state of my heart, it’s that word: TRYING.
It’s not that I’m not okay. I think I am okay now (in fact, at this very moment, I am kind of happy), but I know that that general feeling of happiness can change just as easily because of some things that could happen at work, at home, or what people say or do or do not do. Happiness is fleeting, really. If you want something that would last, strive for joy.
But talking about joy is in another post. My heart is always trying. Trying to be content. Trying to be joyful. Trying to be strong. Trying to want the right things. It’s different from struggling. Struggling is the more conflicted form of trying, when you know you want something but you also know that it may not be a wise idea. Struggling is something like this:
Struggling happens to me a lot, more often than I want to. Struggling is good for the heart, but I think it’s not healthy to be always struggling. You’d have to find some peace inside you at one point, when you make a choice, and then you go and try to be faithful to that decision.
But trying…trying is different. Trying is when you know that you will never be enough, but still you try anyway. It’s wanting to be better, to do things right, to be loving even when it’s hard. Trying is when you attempt to reach something, and when you finally get it, you try to stay there or move forward.
My heart is in an almost constant state of trying. Trying to be content, to be joyful, to be generous, to be prayerful. Trying to be patient. Trying to be loving. Trying to be healthy. Trying to be after God’s own heart. Failing most of the time, but trying, anyway. I don’t think I will ever stop trying at least until I reach perfection, which I will only reach with Him.
This reminds me of my favorite quote from C.S. Lewis:
“We learn, on one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other, we need not despair even in our worst for our failures are forgiven. The only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything less than perfection.” (Mere Christianity)
You know what they say when you don’t succeed? Try, try again. That. My heart is doing that. :)
How about you? Have you stopped and asked yourself the same question? What is the state of your heart?