The Heart of the Matter

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

In his rage, Nebuchadnezzar ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual and had some of the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the white-hot furnace.  Daniel 3

Jesus answered, “Were God your father you would love me for I came forth from God, and am here.” John 8

This morning after looking at the readings, I tried to figure out what to say and my eyes glazed and my head felt tired. I felt out of words and out of thoughts as I considered living up to the discipline I’d set for myself.

How difficult commitments are! How difficult it is when we make ourselves accountable to a discipline or accountable to others. And I wondered if there was a difference between choosing and being accountable. One I suppose leads to another but being accountable is making a commitment.

Commit is to deliver a person or thing, physically or figuratively, into the charge of another. A “figurative” commitment is one easily set aside. Jail is tougher, but even there, one is eventually freed. We don’t hear this old story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego very often. It’s a good reminder of what we don’t have to commit to in order to live our lives as Christian men and women, but maybe the figurative commitments we make, to be kind, peaceful, non-judgmental, are just as difficult, day after day. We have a habit of creating our own “figurative” fiery furnace.

What’s also interesting is that when those times of crisis come, we get through them somehow. Expecting them is probably counter-productive.

Accountable is easier and simpler: answerable; acting in a credible manner.“Worthy of being believed” from the root “kerd” which means heart.  

“Were God your father [or God Father/Mother, or God Spirit or Energy or Great Spirit or Breath] you would love…” And that gets to the “heart” of the matter, the root, as it were.

Today’s focus, then, is on heart, my heart, your heart. Breathe into it. Allow it to open.  Allow it to be at peace and feel love.

It’s a challenge to live in these times of such rapid change and confusion and not feel tense, as if we’re constantly waiting for the next crisis, the next frustration, the next piece of violence. It’s a pretty messy time and messes create tense bodies. The challenge is to remember we can avoid creating fiery furnaces by our commitments to one another.

So this morning, I will thank you, my readers, for my accountability. I know you would forgive me if I dropped my commitment, if I took a day off, but I also know that my chosen accountability pushes me to be more than I might without it.

Be accountable to your heart today. Feel its beat in your body; thank your heart for its steadiness. Fill it with Christ-consciousness.

3 thoughts on “The Heart of the Matter

  1. Yesterday I hobbled over for a follow-up with a cardiologist after having made an early morning trip for a foot x-ray after a fall. The cardiologist told me I need not worry about occasional skipped heartbeats. We joked that I now had the option to find something else to worry about, which is so funny because the list of potential worries seems endles, while, for the most part, our hearts do their work, even if they sometimes miss a beat.

    In some odd way my heart has opened a bit on account of my injury. Tuesday I struggled to maintain patience with my slow dog and slow mother. By 6:00 Wednesday morning, I was slower than them, and so it goes. Hearts sometimes skip and open through experiences unforeseen.

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