it happens every year, late summer or early fall.
I begin to find myself thinking on college football on a regular basis. I have been an unashamed supporter of the University of Michigan Wolverines ever since I was 11 or so, and that support has only grown with the fertile soil of the internet media. Now I can look at scouting, projections, etc.
I may have a problem.
Granted, I'm beginning to rethink my love affair with football because of the gratuitous money involved and the damage to human brains that has been well documented in recent years. I'm cautiously wondering, "Is this worth giving my time to?"
and here is the question for today: what occupies us?
By "occupies" I mean what is that thing that often serenades our thoughts, capturing our attention even in the midst of conversations with others. What pulls our attention, our energy, our concern and is it worth it? In the long run, is it worth it?
Back when you couldn't binge watch television shows (remember those days?), a conversation built up that doesn't necessarily occur the same way today. Questions left hanging:
Who killed Laura Palmer?
Who shot J.R.?
What's the deal with the island in Lost?
Conversations around tables and water coolers would be focused on those questions, theories offered and speculations made.
Then, eventually, you found out. And typically we were disappointed.
All that mental energy, and now - over. Was it worth it?
I have been struck by a phrase in the Psalms lately, the phrase "meditation of my heart". It appears in Psalm 19 and 49 and it is truly fascinating when you tear it apart.
Meditation is typically a "Head" word - it's a cognitive word, a brain word, having to do with the things we think about.
Heart is typically a, well, "heart" word - it is an emotional word, a passionate word, having to do with the things we feel.
For a Hebrew, they were hand in hand because the heart was considered to be the sum of the person. Mostly because they lacked medical knowledge about the importance of the brain, but also because without a heart, well, you died.
For someone to dedicate the meditations of their heart to something, it meant that they gave the meat of their feelings and the sweetness of their ideas to that one thing. Wisdom had a seat at this table, worship had a seat at this table, obedience to the law had a seat there as well.
"Meditations of the heart" is a summary statement that says, "Whatever falls in this category is basically the whole of who you are."
I began to think "Looking at the meditations of my heart, am I landing on things that are worth that precious energy? Things that are worthy definitions of who I am?"
When I find myself drifting out of prayer because I'm focused on something else, what IS that something else and is it worth the drift?
When I find myself disengaged from conversation with someone I love, what is the wedge that pries my attention loose and is it worth it?
When I look at my quiet moments in the car, waiting for an oil change, waiting in a doctor's office, what thoughts come rushing at me and, again, are they worth the energy?
I want to challenge you today to dig deep and ask the question - what are the meditations of my heart? Where in my life does what I think about turn into what I care about and ultimately determine either a block on my calendar or a move within my day?
Is God pressing, knocking, asking you to give yourself to something more brilliant and beautiful - something bigger than a 10+ game football season that, by January, we'll be ready to surrender once again?
What is worth our meditations today - what is worth our affectations?