Wednesday, January 06 2021
"Change my heart oh God"
On December 19, I was on scrolling through Facebook and smiled as I landed on a post of a dad surrounded by his three boys sitting around their kitchen table, one who had finally come home after months away while serving in the Navy. According to the caption posted by the wife and the boys mother, it was the first time for a long time to be all together!
She added the words, “First family meal since 2017...year made.”
Only four days later I saw yet another post from the same mom, only this time she was asking for urgent prayers for an unspecified need!
Rather than posting to the public newsfeed I messaged her and asked her what I could pray for specifically. She quickly replied, "my husband had a terrific accident and they told us to expect and plan for the worse.”
So literally four days after one of the happiest days of the year this family was no longer gathered around the family table, instead circled around the bedside of a husband and dad facing imminent death.
What I have yet to share is this husband and dad is one of my former students who I had recently reconnected with the last two or three years.
As we turn the calendar from 2020 to 2021, this recent experience serves as a harsh reminder to me, the priceless gift of every day. We have no guarantee of tomorrow instead we must understand the urgency to prepare.
For this new year of 2021, the combination of my age (understanding my own fragile mortality), this current and ongoing global pandemic, and most recently the personal loss I’ve experienced of one of my students, has amplified the need to land on one word. #Prepare.
In this pursuit of preparation, I am determined to dedicate the 52 weeks of 2021 blogging to a single aspect of preparation as God lays them on my heart.
And, speaking of my heart, that seems to be the best place to start this initial week one focus. I am calling it “preparing your heart.”
The word “prepare” means “to establish, fix, prepare, or apply.” It conveys the idea of deliberate effort over a prolonged period of time.
I cannot tell you how often I hear people tell me after an experience, such as listening to a message at church, attending a conference, a podcast for the very first time, or trying something new; "I just didn’t get anything out of it."
I know that when I have walked away feeling like I have learned nothing or experienced anything positive, it is typically because I have not properly prepared my heart to receive.
Either we quickly become the critic with our participation or presence, sometimes becoming distracted from the moment, or simply think we know more than the messenger, deciding in our “already knowing” mind this has no application.
So the question I would ask in such circumstances like these is simply, what have you done to “prepare your heart?”
In 2021, if we are to get prepared, we may need to ask God to soften our hearts. To change our hearts. To prepare our hearts.
One of my favorite song lyrics is so simple to say, yet so hard to do.
Maybe this simple song, with an eternal path, can serve as your prayer today as you prepare this new year of 2021!
You are the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me, this is what I pray
Change my heart oh God. Make it ever true/ Change my heart oh God. May I be like You
To God be the Glory.
DADs…“get in the game”…Today is game day…and so is every day…God gives you! So…C’mon men…Suit Up!