So complacency has led us to not live our lives to the full. Complacency has in many ways stolen our ability to see what this fullness even looks like. Worse of all, complacency has stolen our heart—the one thing we need to be fully alive.
How did this happen? How is it possible that we could have our hearts taken from us? Here is the thing, our heart is not something that can be taken from us—we give it away.
We hear the phrase, “He/She stole my heart” all the time. The reality is that when we say that phrase what we really mean is that we gave that person access to our heart and they did something with it—good or bad. My daughter has stolen my heart in the sense that I am so in love with her. That love is so strong that it physically feels like she has my heart in her hands. Another example can be a girlfriend who you have given your heart to that breaks it and causes it to ache. That pain is so strong that it physically feels like she has taken your heart but in this case has done harm to it.
We give our heart over to people and things. Some of these people or things never should have had access to our heart and this, is how we lose it. Here are some examples:
- The man who goes online to watch porn. He gives those images permission to access his heart. He lets them in and those images speak to his heart in a destructive way.
- The man who chooses work over family because he’s successful there. His heart connects to work more so, and family loses the rightful place of that heart.
- The man who plops himself in front of a TV connected to a X-box and plays shoot ‘em up games till 4am. His mind tells his heart he is “saving the world” but it’s virtual—fake.
- The man who has no control over food and eats everything and anything placed before him. His heart longs for pleasure and satisfaction but its disordered.
These are just some of many ways we give our heart away. I’m sure you can come up with others yourself.
To whom, or to what have you given your heart to? And does this person or thing deserve to have it?
I have been thinking, wrestling and praying about those two questions for a long time and the answer is: I have given my heart away to things that do not deserve to have it. Those things suck the life out of my heart and have led me to complacency, this sort of zombie like state I mentioned in my last post.
I recently watched this movie called Warm Bodies. It’s a zombie comedy that has a really interesting twist to the zombie situation. In the movie a zombie pandemic consumes the whole world. There are a few humans who are surviving and fighting the zombies. The movie follows R, who is a young zombie that really doesn’t know what he is doing, how he became a zombie, or why he is living at an airport. R feels…dead. Yet, he knows there is something out there, something more to his current state.
Eventually R meets a human named Julie and this is where things get interesting. Julie’s company does something to R that begins to change him. R recognizes that Julie is beautiful, strong and that her presence begins to wake him up from the inside out. R starts to become human again. He is reclaiming his humanity and the way he does this is through whom he gives his heart to. R falls in love with Julie and love awakens him. By the time the movie gets to the end R protects Julie from a fall and as they get up they both realize that R has woken from the dead—he is fully alive. R comes back from this zombie-like-complacent-state due to his desire to love the right thing; in this case it is a person—Julie. R reclaims his heart by giving it to Julie and he comes back to life.
Giving our hearts to the wrong things leads to death. Giving our hearts to the right things helps us to be fully alive. This is how we reclaim our heart. We love the right person, the right things.
So what does this have to do with fatherhood?
To be a good father I must be the best version of myself—that is who God has called me to be. To be fully alive is the best thing I could ever be for my family. To be anything else is simply unacceptable.
So rise up men! Reclaim your heart. Wake the dead. Be who God has called you to be.
Because the glory of God is you fully alive.