From The School of the Heart…
Turn in, my mind, wander no more abroad
here’s work enough at home, lay by that load of
scattered thoughts, that clogs and cumbers thee:
Resume thy long neglected liberty of self examination
bend thine eye inward, consider where thy heart doth lie
How ’tis affected, how ’tis busi’d: look
what thou hast writ to thyself in thine own book
thy conscience here set thou thy self to school
Self knowledge twixt a wise man and a fool
doth make a difference…
Where is your heart today?
The truth of the phrase, ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ is demonstrated in this example of the first stanzas of this poem written in the mid 1600’s by Christopher Harvey. The wandering of the heart, the cares of the world, the desires of ourselves are not limited to time and circumstance. This happens to us all.
We all can be drawn away – we all can be distracted…
Life. It is so daily. We each have circumstances, people and even our own selves to contend with. Our minds have to be focused on these things to accomplish our daily tasks. Unless we take time to ponder, to examine our own hearts and where we are with the LORD, we can easily be swept away in our hearts and minds by the cares of this world.
Take time to be still
Have you ever said, ‘I really need to read or to pray, but I just don’t have time’…I’m sure every one from time to time wake up running to accomplish tasks, to go places to talk to people. But, the most important thing can sometimes be so easily neglected – our time spent with God. Here’s something to consider. God desires a relationship with us. But, God doesn’t need us. God has always been and will always be God. The truth of it is – we need God. We’re the ones who need the closeness, the relationship, the fellowship with God. Then, why can that be so easily set aside, “I’ll take care of this later…God already knows and understands.”
Neglect Will Show
It may not seem like the time not spent with God will deeply affect us – but in truth, in the end it will show. It will show in our hearts and in our actions. If we’re running about attempting to accomplish tasks on our own steam – we’ll run out. I love the comparison and the illustration Jesus shared with the woman at the well. Drinking from His cup, we’ll truly never thirst again. Water is so very necessary to our life. The lack of water reveals itself in our appearance and in our minds. Our minds need the water we drink to refresh. Our hearts, minds and soul need the refreshing water of fellowship with God. We need that renewal daily just like we need the refreshing of physical water daily.
The Affects Can be Immediate
When we turn and take time to refresh ourselves in fellowship with God, the affects can be felt immediately. All of life can be lighter. Paul is a great example of that. Paul pursued God’s will for his life. Paul pursued telling all those he met about salvation through Jesus Christ. Afterwards, Paul pursued and loved the churches, people, that he started. Throughout Paul’s ministry he was met with fierce opposition, peril and imprisonment. This affected him, he admitted to being ‘in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling’ I Corinthians 2:3. How did Paul continue? Through his time with his LORD. He continued by feeding himself with that fellowship and with praising God – no matter what. If Paul through all his circumstances could do this – through the power and strength of the Holy Spirit, so can we.
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love
Here there by Thy great help I’ve come
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood
I shall see Thy lovely face
Clothed then in the blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy wondrous grace
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry
Take my ransomed soul away
Send Thine angels now to carry
Spending time with God is so very vital to our spiritual health. We need the refreshing of this time, the spiritual food to be able to continue in our ‘dailies’. Life will always provide difficulties and challenges, God will always provide that sense of peace and of joy through this life…most especially when we have drawn from that fount, when we have refreshed our hearts and minds to take on the tasks of the day. One thing that always comforts me, ‘nothing takes God by surprise’. He knows what each day will bring. Through God we can have confidence that no matter what happens – we’ll always have Him. We can daily, sometimes hourly…moment by moment draw from Him for peace, joy and strength-just like Paul did.
In the end, with joy it is my prayer that we can all stand before God knowing it all was worth it and He in return will say…well done.