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Ticker Talk

May 19th, 2009

Focus Text: Proverbs 14: 10 (NLT) 

10 Each heart knows its own bitterness,
      and no one else can fully share its joy.


Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

The heart is a funny thing.  Every genre of music is filled with poetic adages about this most mystifying of internal organs.  Unbreak My Heart.  Don’t Tell My Heart.  My Heart Will Go On.  Most humans who communicate using the English language are quite fluent in “heart vernacular.”  He broke my heart.  My heart’s just not in it.  Search your heart.  That’s near to my heart.

No matter what phrases we use, most of us are aware that a mention of the heart is usually not a reference to the actual blood-pumping muscle nestled deep within our chests.  We interchange the words because our actual hearts are the most crucial of all organs.  When the heart goes, there goes the proverbial physical neighborhood, if you will.

It is no strange coincidence then that we would ascribe the same name to that which is most essential to our emotions, desires, reactions, and values.  “My heart is aching” means that I wretch somewhere deeper than the physical will reach.  Somewhere buried in the recesses of the innermost.  Somewhere even beyond the extent of thoughts or emotions.  

Have you ever had a heart moment when that place in the deep abyss of you suddenly overrides the rest of you, even though your mind is fully engaged elsewhere?  It happened to me yesterday.  Each year, I write a lengthy and usually humorous poem for our annual graduation service.  I dedicate each stanza to a specific graduate to comment and reflect upon their time in our tenure.  When we have a large class, you can rest assured it’s a daunting task.  

Though I’m a fairly “emotionally-in-touch” individual, I rarely lose control to the old heart . . . especially when I’m either speaking publicly or performing musically.  Sometimes the pressure to “get it right” keeps the heart at bay . . . for better or for worse.  I’m not saying I’m some stoic performer who’s out of touch with his heart when he should be most in touch; I’m simply stating that I rarely lose my composure to the point that I can’t continue.

Yesterday was no different . . . well, at first.  I read each stanza, pausing for laughs and enjoying the moment with my beloved graduating seniors.  But then somewhere in the last stanza, my heart reached up and grabbed the wheel, swerving me off the emotional road and into a ditch of tears.

At the heart of things, that’s what was in my heart . . . and the heart always makes itself known eventually.

The heart is where our true self is located.  Therefore, it’s important that we visit it often and make the appropriate deposits.  That way, when the need for a valuable withdrawal comes up, our heart’s account won’t be empty.

At the end of the day, we each are responsible for our own hearts.  The heart can be ignored or it can be accessed.  Either way, we each must eventually face what’s hidden within.  That’s why this passage states, “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy.”

Ooh bitterness . . . that’s some stuff you don’t want rolling around in the old spiritual ticker!  Why?  Put it this way: what cholesterol does to our physical hearts, bitterness does to our spiritual hearts.  Blockage is the result . . . leaving an amazing amount of pain in its wake.  If not dealt with, death is imminent.

So, today is the day to think about heart health . . . not tomorrow.  Figure out what’s in there and begin the process of making healthy deposits.  Forgiveness is better than Lipitor and love is more beneficial than the most difficult marathon-training regiment.

I think I’ll ask God to examine my heart today . . . how about you?






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