Watch your heart — physically, emotionally, spiritually

Voices of Religion

Posted: Friday, February 10, 2006

Sadie Hawkins, “The homeliest gal in the hills,” couldn’t get a husband. The fact that Hekzebiah Hawkins, her Daddy, was the richest man in Dogwatch didn’t help a bit.

Finally Hekzebiah hit on a plan. He established a race in which every eligible young woman had an opportunity to chase and catch — if possible — a husband.

The runners were all unmarried. Men got a brief head start, and then the women went after them.

According to Al Capp’s “Li’l Abner” comic strip, it is true that Sadie Hawkins did indeed catch a man, but for years Daisy Mae failed in her valiant attempts to catch Li’l Abner.

What heartbreak!

Which brings us to this month.

February is Heart Month.

We celebrate Valentine’s Day, the birthdays of two famous presidents, Groundhog Day with Punxsutawney Phil hopefully having a heart and letting spring come soon, and my sister Elsie’s birthday. I just threw the last in to confuse you.

Heart-shaped candy boxes and Valentines abound. Parties and dinners are featured everywhere.

Whether it’s a multi-thousand dollar bracelet studded with diamonds in heart-shaped settings, or a $2.95 card from the grocery store checkout counter, hearts are in.

Too bad Sadie Hawkins Day does not come in February as well. It falls in November.

So we eat candy from our heart-shaped boxes or munch on heart-shaped chocolate cake, while all the time our real heart may be struggling to keep us alive and ticking.

That’s the physical heart.

When a young man tells his sweetheart: “I love you with all my heart,” he reveals a deep, profound, inner commitment to her.

That’s the emotional heart.

The Bible speaks of our heart also.

“Keep (guard) thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life,” Proverbs 4:23.

This is the center of our being — the core of who we are.

This is the spiritual foundation of the real you.

In fact, our thoughts, words and actions all stem from this heart, for we learn that “Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies,” Matthew 15:18-19.

Now that sounds pretty negative, doesn’t it?

But wait a minute! Scripture also states: “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good, for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart,” Luke 6:45.

On Dec. 3, 1967, South African surgeon Christian Barnard conducted the first heart transplant on 53-year-old Lewis Washkansky.

This dealt with the patient’s physical heart.

What a wonderful thing to know that the Great Physician will perform spiritual heart surgery for all who ask him.

The heart that produces bad stuff can become the heart that produces good stuff, under his skillful hands.

Let’s eat heart-smart for our heart — God’s gift for physical health.

Let’s think heart-smart for our emotional heart. After all God designed us to love and be loved by others. Even Sadie Hawkins wanted that.

Let’s grow heart-smart in our relationship with God. After all, God made us to enjoy him forever.

Charles G. Thornton is pastor at large of Peninsula Grace Brethren Church, 44175 Kalifornsky Beach Road, Soldotna.

Sunday worship is at 11 a.m. and Bible classes are at 9:30 a.m.

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