Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Heart

This week I've:
1. Seen the musical wicked.
2. Lost and recovered a $500K piece of equipment below a national monument.
3. Made airplane friends with a West Point Cadet, an art student who is over the moon about Brazilian art, and the dad of one of my favorite fooball players.
4. Been to the coolest hotel I've ever been in (The W in Midtown) and instead of chilling in the hip nightlife I ate an overpriced cheese sandwich in bed as I fell asleep to the Colbert Report (Was tired...see item 2).
5. Led music for an Alpha retreat.
6. Played foosball with my wife, who is bizarrely good at it.
7. Debated the origin and application of the "loofah" those soapy foamy things that Girls and I use.
8. Offended one of my best friends in the world in real life, and probably lots of other people in pretend internet blog comment world.
9. Seen my quasi little sister flag twirl at the Student Staff basketball game at Sycamore High School.
10. Picked out perfume for my wife's little sister's best friend.
11. Been bizarelly good at answering the girl questions in "Battle of the Sexes" I don't understand it...I have no idea where I learned that YTL was Yves St Lauren or that mules were open backed high heel shoes. I imagine one of my wife's chick books (see "Confession").
It's been a full week.
With all this in mind I've been tracking an interesting debate in a couple different places. The question is this:
Man's heart--Good or bad.
Here's what I gather from the Bible:
1. In the view of scripture, the heart is the source of man's will, emotions, and decisive intellect. To love X with your whole heart is simply to be "sold out." It is not necessarily good or bad.
2. The heart is not universally defined as good or evil, it is more defined as universally significant. There are places where the heart is called wicked and other places where it's called holy. To the extent that the heart is the source of our decisive will, the heart is caught up in the same struggle as man--will we pridefully pursue the broken desires of our sinful nature or do we instead set apart our heart as holy.
So this begs the question, should we "follow our heart?" I think this boils down to St. Augustine's line--"Love and do what you will." Another way to think of this is in Psalm 37:4 and Romans 12:2. Delight yourself in the Lord and he'll give you the desires of your heart, be transformed so that you can test and approve God's good, pleasing, and perfect will. In other words chase after God and he will transform the stuff that you want so that you love the stuff he loves.
OK--so right now do we follow our heart? At what point does the transition from Ryan desires to God desires take root to the point where we can just "follow our heart." This I don't know, but it seems to me that it's always wise to use our heart as one strong input amidst others like scripture, counsel, solitary prayer, the example of others, and common sense.
Just my thoughts.


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