Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Singleness of Heart

Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Sometimes I feel lost and worthless.  I don't know where I am or what I 'm doing. I suppose everyone feels that way at some point. I'm trying harder to eliminate that kind of thinking but it is difficult to change a lifetime of feeling less than what you were intended to be.

This morning as I read my Bible, I ran across my favorite chapter Lamentations 3:22-26, 31-33. I had to stop and read it  because, well, it is my favorite chapter.

22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
31 For the Lord will not cast off forever.
32 Though He causes grief,
Yet He will show compassion
According to the multitude of His mercies.
33 For He does not afflict willingly,
Nor grieve the children of men.

After I read it I happened to flip a few pages and found another scripture that I had marked at some point in this journey. I realised that I'd stumbled across the prayer of my heart and I didn't just read it, I prayed it.

Give me one heart, Lord. Put a new spirit in me and take out my stony heart, give me one of flesh so that I may walk in your statutes and keep your ordinances and do them. Let me be your people and be my God.  Ezekiel 11:19

One heart, singleness of heart. Wikipedia describes it this way: Singleness of heart (also called singleheartedness) is the ideal of having sole devotion to a task or endeavour. It is normally employed in a religious or spiritual context. In antiquity, it was thought of as a counteraction to the divisive effects of civilization on the soul.

Divisive effects of Civilization on the soul? Life disrupts and divides our soul. The day to day struggle breaks us and the cracks fill with bits and pieces of debris, like a crumbling sidewalk. Over time, storms wreak havoc and the walk breaks down. The cracks widen, allowing more and more debris to fall into them. Eventually, if something is not done to repair the cracks, the walk disappears and you're left with a crumbled path of rough, broken stones mixed with the detritus of civilization. A walk whose purpose has vanished.

We forget our purpose. Life is so hard, so painful. We break beneath the stresses. We become a walk, so broken and scrambled with meaningless debris that we are unrecognizable. How terrible if, in the middle of all the pain and suffering each of us endures, that we forget our purpose. I forget sometimes. Perhaps I needed reminding today. 

Truly, Lord, give me one heart, one mind that I do not forget who I am, why I am. Fill the broken spaces with your presence, your purpose. Make me your people and be my God.