Tuesday, June 10, 2008

An Undivided Heart

“Teach me Your way,
O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an
undivided heart,
that I may fear Your name.”
Psalm 86:11

An undivided heart… Can you imagine having an undivided heart? Besides the four biological chambers of my physical heart, I have several sequestered areas in my soul meant for different areas of my life.

My immediate family takes up a huge room. I seek to give joy and enjoy my husband and son. It is the purpose of my life to love these two guys and share with them who I am every day.

I have another designated area for the rest of my family. My stepdaughters, my mother-in-law and her sister, my siblings, nephews, nieces and aunts are all part of my heart.

Friends, writing, the daily chores of life make up other rooms that each require part of my intentions each day.

So why does David ask God for an undivided heart? Was it because as a man, he could compartmentalize so much easier than a woman could? :0)

Ever heard of Pam and Bill Farrell’s analogy that men are like waffles (compartmentalizing each relationship and task) and women are like spaghetti (intertwining each relationship and task)?

An undivided heart would be more difficult for us as women, right?

Or maybe not. Maybe the intention of David is to ask for the foundational motivation of his life. All of us, no matter our gender, can benefit, even thrive, by knowing what should be our guiding purpose.

Like finding our “one thing.” Remember Billy Crystal in “City Slickers?” He searches for the “one thing,” the most important facet of his life. Turns out to be his family.

Maybe David was asking God to show him his “one thing." What is the most vital, important foundation of my life, God? And how do I keep it in front of me always?

I was pondering this the other day (pondering hurts less than you might think) and as I sat there my puggle Scooby became restless and started running from window to window in our living room. Ever since our dog became a wild bunny killer, his thirst for blood knows no limits. Sure, he’s only caught one bunny, but as John puts it, “He has tasted blood – he’s a wild man now.” When bunnies are near, Scooby knows it and sits or stands at our windows for long periods of time, searching, looking, and keeping vigil.

My dog has an undivided heart. He has found his passion.

So what about me? I am not David, a man of such faith and courage he killed a giant with a sling shot. And I am not my dog, thirsty for one more mouthful of bunny.

I am me. And the flavor of me is wonderful to the God who created me and loves me. But He wants me to thrive. He wants me to have an undivided heart. A heart that is passionate for Him. A heart that thirsts for His presence in my life.

In my pondering, the Spirit has led me to a partial answer. (There is always more.) God wants to be the first passion, the first priority in my life. Before family and friends and writing and daily chores.

God has not asked me to decrease my faithfulness to the other priorities of my heart. He is asking me to increase my faithfulness to them by putting Him and His presence in my life first. God uses paradoxes. This works because of His supernatural, super hero power.

What does this look like? Currently, this kind of power from God blossoms in my life when I make two choices, two sacrifices.

First is a simple sacrifice of time. I must set aside time to purposefully think about God and listen to His voice through silence and His word.

Next is a sacrifice of thoughts. I must purpose my mind to REMEMBER Him throughout the day and make His presence a natural part of my day. Kind of like inviting Him into my conversations, my meals, my laughter and my blog. :0)

In 1 Samuel 13:14, David is described as “a man after God’s own heart.” Maybe that is because he pleaded with God to give him an undivided heart. He screwed it up at times. Remember Bathsheba? But he got back on the proverbial horse over and over, continually asking the Creator of motivation to give him the best motivation.

Scooby, too, screws up at times. The other day he ran off after a bunny and lost his way. For a horrible hour, we couldn’t find our precious puggle. A neighbor found him and called us. Were we angry when we picked him up? No. We knew his flight after the bunny was a choice he had to make. His undivided heart led him. We pet him and loved on him. He cuddled up with us for a while, glad to be home.

But then he heard a noise. Back to his window he went.


jsetzer said...

Thank you for this inspirational story!

dianne in colorado said...

I understand the dilema with the compartments of the heart and the struggle to make sure each one gets the appropriate amount of time and attention each day. It usually seems like I'm the most in demand with my family the minute my Bible opens! I had to "train" my family to fend for themselves during my quiet time, with the assurance that I will take care of everything they need as soon as I am done. Even so, there never seems to be enough time in the day for everything I'd like to do.

Great post, Robbie!

Megan DiMaria said...

Great post. Thanks, Robbie.

Purple walls? You have purple walls? Does Jan know? I bet she'll be over as soon as she hears. LOL

I think I tell her. :)

A prisoner of hope,

Julie said...

Thank you. That has given me something to ponder, and you said pondering didn't hurt.
I think that if we have an undivided heart towards God...He will make every other part of our life fall right into place. When I try to manage things myself I always let someone down or out. I pray for an undivided heart.

Jan Parrish said...

What a great analogy, Robbie.

And I love that purple wall. I'd love to do that by my DH has nixed purple walls. :)

Ruthie said...

Nice post. And such a precious dog - Looks so cute just staring out your windows watching the world go by.

Loretta said...

Thanks for a great post, Robbie. It's so easy to feel divided.

Last month as I was complaining to my mom about the constant dishes, she said, "Why don't you invite God to sit there with you while you do them?"

So now I do. Sometimes my kids freak out when I suddenly giggle while doing the dishes, but it sure does help!

Thanks for the reminder to put God everywhere.

Heather Diane Tipton said...

purple walls!!!! I love it!

Michele Cushatt said...

Oooooooohhh....Jan must be so jealous! Nice color choice, Robbie...

As for the TRUE purpose of your blog, thanks for the timely reminder.

"I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh." Ezekial 11:19

Jan Parrish said...

Hi Robbie -

I have an award for you on my blog.

Love you!

Btw - it was a good post as well. I was just excited about the wall color being so cool and all.