“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” Psalm 5:11-12
“We do not understand it is God speaking to us in our heart. Having so long been out of touch with our deepest longings, we fail to recognize the voice and the One who is calling us through it…some of us silence the voice by locking our heart away in the attic, feeding it only the bread and water of duty and obligation until it is almost dead…others of us agree to give our heart a life on the side if it will only leave us alone and not rock the boat. We try to lose ourselves in our work, or “get a hobby” (either of which soon begins to feel like an addiction)…Having thus appeased our heart, we nonetheless are forced to give up our spiritual journey because our heart will no longer come with us. It is bound up in the little indulgences we feed it to keep it at bay.” John Eldridge, The Sacred Romance
From the moment we started trying to have a family, this whole process has felt like a jailbreak for my heart. It has been a violent process of ripping away these “little indulgences” that my heart had learned to live on. It was amazing to see how much of what I used to do did not matter at all, because when it was ripped away it has not been missed. Sports, TV, video games, home projects, movies, it was all cut away like a skilled surgeon was carving out the cancerous parts that plagued my heart. I’m amazed at how little I miss these things as they are now simply a “treat” as they should be. It may not make sense to most, but becoming a father – the process – has rescued my heart. Do I miss those easy, fun times? Absolutely, like someone giving up an addiction misses their vice of choice. But I am better for taking this journey, for not giving up, and for not clinging desperately to those things that didn’t matter. Case in point, when the Super Bowl was on, I didn’t care about it or the hype that surrounded it. Does it matter if I watched it in the morning while spending time with God? No. Will it help me get through another day dealing with the many challenges in taking care of Reagan? No. IT just doesn’t matter, it is only a treat to be able to spend time doing that or anything like it. And that treat shouldn’t become the lifeblood like so many live on. I pray I can continue to focus on what truly matters and never rely on those “treats” to get me through a day or take up so much time in my life that it becomes my life. My life is here, being a husband, father, leader, and son – and I will continue to focus on my heavenly Father that has been giving us the power to tell our mountains to move out of the way.