There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

watching over–in review…

If you missed the weekend, I think you could summarize its substance in a few themes:

  1. you have to appreciate the need for watching over your heart. If it is the wellspring of life, and if so much works to undermine its fruitfulness, then anyone not taking a regular inventory about how one is responding to life’s challenges is subjecting themselves to a dismal present and future. Oftentimes it’s not even the overtly immoral activity that gets the best of us, but the seemingly harmless amusements which succeed in keeping us so preoccupied with trivial matters that we rarely, or at least too casually, give attention to matters of consequence. Watching over your heart is no small matter.
  2. Because it is so vital, watching over the heart must be something for which you make time. It can’t be a “when I have time for it” kind of approach, but a thing you plan for. The culture, if you’re not careful, can impose two priorities, both of which are at cross-purposes with watching over the heart: the need to be busy, and the need to be entertained. I italicize the word need there not because anyone makes any sort of coherent rationale for either, but because so many give them selves to both it’s as if both are part of some unwritten code of conduct. Your work so hard and such long hours because….well, why is that? And because you’ve worked so many long, grueling hours, you deserve a proportionate encounter with whatever amusement you choose because….well, why is that? Our commitments to both work and entertainment, if left unchecked, can siphon away whatever focused time you might need to give to watching over the heart–inspecting its responses to everyday events for insight into where you’re placing your hopes.
  3. lastly, watching over the heart, while a very intimate matter, is as much a communal effort as it is an individual one. You must bring others into that work; you must consider yourself part of others heart-work too. Few things are more tedious, potentially messy, agonizingly humbling, and yet magnificently liberating than revealing the contours of your heart’s condition with others in the context of a Christ-centered community. Where that Christ-centeredness exists, judgementalism is disallowed while humble judgment is required. It’s where you’re free to reveal your discussions with the Father about the matters of your heart before Him.

I hope others who attended would add their insights here. It is, after all, a communal effort. cropped-eye_highrez1.jpg

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