I didn’t know the importance of guarding my heart until something unexpected took root there. It happened quickly. It only took about 5 minutes for anger and I to become bed mates, and I didn’t realize it until minutes later. And, once there, it was no easy way to uproot it until I admitted that I had been wounded.
Recently, I was put in a situation that was a bit uncomfortable. I was at an event and there were some women there that made it their point to be caddy towards me. As a native of Chicago and a teacher, my perspective on things (the way I read situations) are quite different from most. In fact, the ways in which I process things are quite complex and very internal. While in the past this has been a challenging thing for me to navigate, I believe that my introspection practices helped me to see the offense that buried itself in my heart and gave birth to anger.
The interesting thing is that I haven’t experienced anger in a very long time and it shocked me when it surfaced. I am not saying that I didn’t feel an array of its close and distant cousins, I am saying that I hadn’t seen anger itself in a while. That night, following the event, I dreamed of fighting. This was alarming to me because my spirit is generally settled and my dreams are often positively revelatory, but this time they weren’t. When I awoke I was a bit bothered by the internal condition of my heart.
That day my heart was open and my guard was down, so the enemy had an opportunity to penetrate my life. He used others to plant seeds of anger down into my heart to hinder me from moving as quickly as I should towards the promise of God. Anger and its relatives can be debilitating. They can be staggering. They can be toxic if unchecked.
In essence, in a moment I forgot to guard my heart and was left wounded. I think it was more than wounding in this case because I left with emotional souvenirs to carry on my journey back to my car, to my bed, to my dreams. I don’t think we realize how quickly things have the ability to take root if we aren’t careful. In everything we should guard our hearts and minds.
But, if we are sometimes negligent, I want to encourage everyone to quickly tend to the inner wound.