Originally published Tuesday, 26 January 2016.
Lately, I have been pondering maybe the most important question of Christian faith:
How do you successfully guard your heart?
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Prov. 4:23
Above all else = the most important thing.
Everything you do = every single small and solitary thing
Flows from it = it is the blood supply to our spiritual existence
The heart is the command center to your life.
An unguarded heart is a compromised life.
Using this line of reasoning, we can figure: If we are straying from God, we've been displaying our heart open for attack.
So how do we truly guard it?
Guard it in a way where bad thoughts bounce off?
Guard it in a way where lockdown is secure?
Guard it in a way where attackers don't even give it a passing glance?
This is what my heart has been sitting on lately. Wondering. Strategizing. And sure didn't want a quick-fix answer of "try better", "work harder" or "just do it"; these are the type of answers that always keep me failing.
So, while I considered not failing, I watched the snow falling on morning news - until one image nearly sent me falling right out of my chair. It was the answer to my wonderings.
21 steps forward.
21 steps back.
The presence of who was.
The sentinel. He moved with purpose as the high winds of cold hit his face. He moved with discipline as snow ravaged around him. He moved with confidence next to the most important cause in his life. He moved to guard the presence of one unknown by so many; just as our Savior was and is today.
He moves, then another one moves, and then another, on 24 hour shifts, but, make no mistake, someone is always moving at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery. It is never left unmanned, untouched and unprotected.
During storms - armed.
When everything seems shut down - manned.
When things are quiet - protected.
When the place gets hectic - watched.
When the face gets frostbitten - defended.
Do we guard our hearts in such a way?
Do we see it of such value that we keep 24-hour vigilance
on what takes aim around it?
Guns blazing, gloves moistened, to aide in grip,
are we protecting with discipline, dedication and decisiveness?
Back and forth, do we run over our mind to see
if there is any way unpleasing to the Lord?
21 steps forward, 21 steps back,
do we give pause for prayer to ensure we are effective?
The Sentinel does not do an about face when reaching the end of 21 steps, he turns and looks at the tomb.
Do we? Do we turn to look at the tomb consistently and continually throughout our day? The tomb of Jesus that is empty? The one that reminds us of who we are fighting for? The one that tells us to keep on 21-stepping?
When stop to look at Jesus' tomb, we see the tomb of emptiness found in anything
and everything else put above him.
Lives that pace on his goodness, dance with his freedom.
Feet that walk back and forth on righteousness, find life.
Soldiers who see guarding their hearts as paramount, mount up on wings like eagles.
They find hope, flight and new might,
for enemies flee at the sight of real duty.
Guard your heart like nothing else matters.
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