The Weighed Down Heart

Hung out with friends from out of town yesterday. They arrived on Sunday afternoon and we did a lot of our visiting in the way that we know how to do it best–over food. Yesterday morning we went out for breakfast to a local eatery known for it’s big meals . . . and I mean BIG! And after breakfast, even though it was the start of the day, I could feel my body slipping into a food coma. You know, that feeling of drowsiness and lethargy that comes from packing away a little too much omelet and few too many hash browns.

Had a flashback to that post-breakfast haze as I read this morning.

“. . . watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. . . . But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”    ~ Jesus

(Luke 21:34, 36 ESV)

The specific context of Jesus’ warning to His disciples was the destruction of Jerusalem–something that, for us, happened long ago. The greater context was the second coming of Christ, the imminent return of the Son of Man–something which could happen any time in the future. But the application, I’m thinking, is for the present. Beware the weighed down heart.

Just as the center of our physical beings, the heart within our chest, has its limits and can only bear so much before it is damaged or shuts down, so too the center and seat of our spiritual lives, our souls, have only so much capacity. It can only take in so much before, just as I experienced yesterday morning after breakfast, it becomes overcharged and lethargic.

Whether it’s with too much food and drinking, dissipation and drunkenness, or too much anxiety concerning the affairs of this life, the effect is that the heart becomes weighed down. Whether it’s overly indulging in the pleasures of the table or being overly preoccupied with things of this world, if we are not careful our souls will become stuffed to the full with spiritual sugars and carbs which eventually causes the “crash,” resulting in souls that just want to snooze.

But, says the Lord, “Stay awake at all times.” Follower of Christ, keep your head in the game.

Whether it was preparing for the unimaginable when Rome would raze the holy city, or getting ready for increasingly difficult times in advance of the Lord’s return, we need to be awake . . . running the race . . . stewarding the talents he’s told us to work with until He returns and asks for an accounting . . . standing fast against the darkness, as ambassadors we proclaim the kingdom of life . . . fighting the good fight . . . with great desire wanting to hear Him say, when we bow before His Bema Seat, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

We need to beware the food coma of the soul. That way of living which leaves little reserves to walk in a manner worthy of our calling. That way of prioritizing which ends up sending “seek first the kingdom of God” to the bottom of the list. That way of indulging, or worrying, that says, “Soul, time to take a nap.”

How we need to “eat clean” and beware of weighing down our hearts with life’s excesses–whether that’s feasting or fretting. How we need to drink deep of the Son’s living water and sup continually on the Father’s living Word, while we pursue the things of heaven by the power of the Spirit’s ever-present enabling.

Then, will we stay awake. Ready for today’s trial. Prepared for tomorrow’s uncertainty. In anticipation of His soon return.

By His grace. For His glory.

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