Back when I was a teenager, my best friend and I played air hockey fairly often. No matter who won, we always had a great time. As years have passed, I haven’t played as much as I used to, but I did have the chance to play a game with my daughter and also with my stepson the other day. Leah and I had a pretty calm game, but Eric on the other hand, played, well, like a maniac.
I watched as he hit the puck off the table several times and it flew through the air. I just laughed at him, becoming even more amused afterwards as I watched him and his dad play with up to three pucks at once. I told my daughter that’s what boys become when they grow up 😂.
As I played that wild game with Eric he said, “You can’t just keep your paddle sitting right there the whole time.” He didn’t want me guarding my goal (or whatever you call it). He was hitting that puck and it was bouncing off my end, his end, the sides, every which a way but I stood calmly, guarding.
After a while I did give in and move my paddle around and a few times it allowed him to score. Of course there were a few other times he got one past me when I was on guard. I just wasn’t fast enough to block the puck.
As I stood there I thought of Leah.
By no means am I a Bible scholar. I’ve never even read in the New International Version (NIV) until last week but for some reason I’ve been telling my daughter lately- “Guard your heart.” As I searched, I found those words in that very version.
A few different versions of Proverbs 4:23 are listed below.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life. (KJV)
Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. (NKJV)
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (NIV)
My daughter’s heart is tender, always has been. The older she gets and the more hurt she endures, the more of an impact it could have on her character. It doesn’t mean it can’t be positive, but we all know life tends to leave scars. The choice will ultimately be hers, just as it is ours, as to how we care for those wounds.
I know I can’t save her from hurt. That is part of living. I can’t save her when hurt tries to take the defense and turn into bitterness, anger and any other negative emotions that are really just gaining the enemy points on the scoreboard.
Thankfully our guide book, the Bible, offers the most sound advice we can possibly receive. We can freely ask our Father for assistance in guarding our hearts from those pucks that are coming towards our goal, whether aimed straight at it or ricocheting off of something else. It doesn’t mean they won’t get through from time to time, but if we are guarding our hearts we’ll be able to respond in a healthy manner and better deal with the issues of life before they cause us to throw our hands up and leave the table.
Thank you for reading. Good night.