Wellspring of Life
The wellspring of life--- the heart--- stays warm as you guard and care for it.
Today has been an interesting day for me, not because of some big event or happening, but because of the bits and pieces that make up life. I had a conversation with my teen friends about the new year, growing old and something about fellowship/friendship/relationship. Here's what happened after they filed into the classroom bringing with them the mud from the melting snow. (We laughed as we saw how the floor was turned into something resembling that of a rice paddy with the amount of mud the teens' boots brought in.)
"So, are you, guys, looking forward to the new year?" I asked, thinking that everybody must be as excited as I am at the thought of the coming new year. I didn't expect the reply.
"No?" I asked, genuinely surprised. "Why?" I wanted to know what was so terrible about the coming year that my teen friends are not so happy about it. More difficult schoolwork? Loads more homework? A national exam to face? What? The response stumped me further.
"I am scared," one of them boldly offered.
"Growing. We are growing older."
My mouth literally hanged open.
"We are afraid of the future and of us getting old. I want to be young again."
"But you're still young!" I protested, thinking of my many years compared to their young ones. "And besides, growing old is not that bad. Actually, it's exciting to watch one's self grow wiser as the years go by, being friends with one's own self, and finally be hanging out alone without feeling lonely most of the time."
"Yeah, my mother doesn't have any friends any more," a girl revealed. "She just stays home most evenings at home. I don't want to lose my friends."
And there I was, trying to convince a group of teens that growing old means acquiring the ability of making peace with one's self first, cultivating fellowship with your like, and making friends with everyone, even with those who do not like you, and not just with the clique group.
But they wouldn't be convinced. And being old (and, hopefully, wiser), I feel sorry for them and their fears.
I went to work today even as three of my children were not at their best selves physically. (Must be the winter bug. Whatever it is.) Though I wanted to skip an important day at work (I have a Speaking Exam to implement), two of my children still had to go to school, despite of the lethargy they were feeling, because they had tests to take just like I had mine to give. Being a mother, I was worried sick for them, tried to comfort and meet their needs, prayed and hoped for the best. Because what else is there for me to do other than for all of us to skip everything and stay home? Choices, choices. Gladly, we survived the day, thanks to a merciful and loving God. And I am proud of my children for exhibiting strength of character, without them uttering a single whine (which could have been all right for them to do in their condition).
Then, there was the speaking exam. I learned more about my students in the ten minutes that I had with them today compared to the past three months that I spent with them in the class. That made me wonder, even if I'm following some lesson plan, that perhaps I talk too much.
My husband has been thoughtful, too, providing a source of strength for me with the knowledge that I have someone to lean on. And even with someone's bitter treatment, I am not bothered with it and can say "All is well".
Then I came home and opened my Facebook after dinner to see what was happening to friends and family after being busy for weeks enjoying the richness of life and not having the time to check up on anyone. First thing on my newsfeed was from someone I'd spoken with a few times before but didn't have a chance to get closer to. She just lost her husband, unexpectedly. I cannot help but grieve with her. I feel what she must be going through despite not really knowing her that much. I pray, with all in me, that she'll find God right beside her and allow Him to carry her through this. And I hope she'll make make it through past grief, however long it takes, and into joy again.
Life is so interconnected in this way that even how distant things and people may seem, we are still part of the hurting (or the joy, in another case) of another human being. This is what it is like to be human.
To be human is to have a heart that beats, pulses with life and pumps this life into every nook and cranny of our existence. That heart should never grow cold even if the weather does and circumstances beat it into subjection. That heart must be guarded and cared for it to perform what it has been made for--- as a wellspring of life. Because when not, life dies.
So whatever it is that the Maker has put in your heart, guard it. The desires for beauty and love, for family and the whole human family, and foremost, for Love that is True, in the person of Jesus, guard it.
Guard it from hatred and envy. Guard it from covetousness and greed. Guard it from pride and selfishness. Guard it from sloth and indifference. Guard it from the constant onslaught of cold modern way of living. Guard it from self-inflicted isolation and chronic sadness. Guard it from unwarranted fears.
Care for it by cultivating fellowship, not possessions. Find joy in an honest day's work and on what makes you come alive. Go out, love, get messy, forgive and love again. Never, ever give up on humanity and stay distant just watching from afar off. Life may be muddy and messy, but it's life and it stays wonderful no matter what--- when you're in the midst of it.
Above all else, give your heart to the Lord, to Him who can completely take care of it for you. Let Him take care of a heart that can easily be deceived. Watch Him handle it with love and rest in the knowledge that He cares for you. Then see your heart bubble with life. Watch it splash all around and give meaning and passion in your existence.
May your wellspring of life be filled by the Source of All Life. May your years roll around with excitement, stamping out fears, as love fills you abundantly. Live long, well, and joy-filled.
Above all else, guard your heart; for it is the wellspring of life.
He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
But perfect love drives out fear.
1 John 4:18
But perfect love drives out fear.
1 John 4:18
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
2 Corinthians 13:14
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A Plot for Joy
The Busy-ness of Growing Up