Sunday, April 10, 2011

An undivided heart

Today at church Dr. Mark Young preached and I love it when he preaches. I always learn about 15 things that I didn't know. Today he talked about Psalm 87 and since today the focus was on missions what I took away from the message was this: Are we standing at the gates of the Kingdom protecting what we have or standing with open arms inviting all to enter with us? As he stood up folding his arms in front of his chest I had one of the "aha!" moments that I'll never forget.

Not for a good reason or one that I'm proud of though. I truly felt humbled by the fact that I totally cross my arms to people who don't see it like I see it. As often as I say, "Come to bible study, come to church," I try to protect my kids from people I don't know. I ask another mom 100 questions before I let my kids go to their house. And even then I go with them. It's good and right to teach our kids the way they should go. It is my responsibility to teach them right from wrong and to teach them the things they should and shouldn't do. To obey rules. To respect others. To keep from stealing and fighting. But my oh my I've also got to teach them to love others and to show Christ to others above anything else.

Maybe I'm too selfish with my whole faith. Maybe I hide behind my church and my friends within my church too much. Maybe it's so comfortable that I don't even notice when I turn my head away from someone hoping to befriend me. I don't know why I'm writing "maybe" when I know all of this is true. I love my life. I love the thought of moving to my hometown where I know people and they know me and we have history. While there's nothing wrong with being joyous and thankful, if that's all we do then we're missing a huge part of the gospel. WE ARE HERE TO MAKE GOD KNOWN AND GLORIFY GOD. There are many different facets of my heart and each are known and desired by God. When I value anything more than Him, though, things aren't right. The phrase, "an undivided heart," to me means that the things I focus on and value should all point to Him. When I'm tempted to focus on other things my heart gets pulled apart. The balance is off and things start suffering.

Up until maybe today the task of keeping my family fed, bathed, on time for things, etc. was the most important thing on my mind and in my heart. That's it-the truth. It's my job and my role to do those things but I'm thankful that today I grasped what else He wants from me. Not just to raise the kids to know Him and to love Him but to teach them to love people and be the light of the world. We have the best job in the world, don't we? Our own little missionaries in training. It's also time to pray for direction in where to serve. It's a time of limbo since we don't know when we'll move but I've been saying, "No," to things because I didn't want to commit then move, you know? I've missed opportunities by saying, "Well, I'm not sure I'll still be here..." when good Lord I've been here this whole year, which was one year more than I expected to be here. No wonder He hasn't opened the door to move yet. He had too much still to teach me. Not to mention so many fun memories made with our friends.

I don't know if this makes sense to anybody else or if it's really sad that I'm just now coming to this point and that's okay. When I go back through what I've written on a day when I'm defeated and feel like what I'm doing doesn't matter, this will remind me that that's faulty thinking. It does matter. It matters to Him.

"Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And I will glorify Your name forevermore.
For great is Your mercy toward me,
And You have delivered my soul from
the depths of Sheol."
Psalm 86:11-13


Julie said...

Sweet Mary,

Bless you for giving us your heart felt words! Such lovely insights!

Carley said...

Great post on today's sermon and how it hit your heart. It sure made me miss Mark being around and preaching so much.

We've been taking Cody to the nursing home and it's not always the most exciting thing but we figure its a good start to teaching him to love others until he can go on missions trips with us.

It is overwhelmingthe responsibility we have to teach and mold our children. I love your honesty and it's an honor to be your friend and grow from your insight and wisdom!

Mary said...

Thank you friends. Y'all heard the same sermon so I'm interested to hear how it impacted you. Did I pull what I learned from what he said or did I just dream the connection up? Lol

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mary for sharing so candidly... you have such a gift for doing so and your words strike a chord here too. Sorry that we couldn't go to church yesterday (sick littles)... we obviously missed a great sermon!