Nov 3, 2005

what's in your heart? (pt.1)

what you're supposed to be
doing (for a moment).

T.e.m.p.o.r.a.r.i.l.y..g.e.t..r.i.d..o.f your professional or academic identity... the one where people hand you to-do lists in laptop world and/or office space and/or notebook land and/or...

Put aside your household hat for a few seconds, not to mention the fact that you may or may not be married.

Practice a TEMPORARY AMNESIA of your last name and all the family expectations and history associated with it, good or bad.

STOP... for just a moment...
stop worrying about being pursued,
p u b l i s h e d, or
publicly RecoGniZed in the
you often covet being in.

In fact, let's even set aside all the buZZwords we carry around and use to demonstrate to others (and possibly ourselves) that we are the INtellectual/artIST/AThlete/reBEL we use as our favorite fig leaf so that we are never truly naked with the world.

Are you there yet?

If not, rinse and repeat.

If so... a question.





Deep down, what longs to come out of you... 100%?

What keeps you up at night as you dReAm about it...

arGue imaginary conversations about it...

and make unintelligable GRunts about it because it hasn't completely happened yet, for whatever reason?

I know you know
what I'm talking about.

(even if neither of us will admit it out loud)

It's the dream deep within our secret place that others seldom get full access to. Some of our friends get partial access to it (even though they think they have full access) but you know that there's a little extra s__l__i__v__e__r you've been saving. In fact, maybe you've even saving this sliver from yourself because the dream is much too big to articulate...

or face...

for you know that once you do, any other dream you try to convince yourself of will only be a SHADOW of the real thing...

and you'll either have to live as a hypocrite or give up safety in order to go for it.


what's in your heart?
    "...for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." (Matthew 12:34b)


me said...

what's in my heart? caffeine....and not for the taste.

i do love 'brisk' (is that REAL tea?) however..and plain ol' sun tea....both for the flavour.

Stephanie said...

Ouch Tony! I can't dig that deep! Do you ever think that even if we did embrace that dream deep down inside, it would only produce heartache, because for some, maybe those dreams are just unattainable?

Just a thought...

Marcia said...

Good challenge! Even if the dream is unattainable--what an adventure, chasing it!

lifelong girl said...

hey, I have an odd question, how do you get your txt to view in different colors and sizes? i am sure it's something simple, but I feel the addition would work wonders in getting my thoughts across on my blog! ~ can you help?!!

Bar Bar A said...

WOW! That was sooooooo good! But it brings makes me ask a question. I did what you said and looked inside, I know my dream. But what about someone who truly believes they have no dream? A person who admittedly has no "passions" in life. They live day to day working and caring for their kids, going to church, that's about it.

I would really value your opinion on this because someone close to me fits this description and it's been bothering me quite a bit lately...

Thank you for bringing this up.

Tony Myles said...

to me: Caffeine? *sigh*

to Stephanie: I find that the more the years go by the more layers are built up from our dreams. Sometimes "life" gets in the way of Life... but only the latter is worth fighting for. The cool thing, though, is that once you see it beneath the filters of a "to do list," then even that "to do list" can become a spiritual thing. Perhaps heartache is involved if you pursue it, but I think if you don't the other consequence is more dangerous - an apathetic heart.

to Marcia: Keep chansing!

to Cali: When you post something in blogspot, highlight your text and then choose the option on the menu to make it bigger.

to well woman: I can't speak for God on this, but I do believe He puts purpose into every life. There's universal purpose (love God, love others) and unique purpose (the context He gives us to pursue that). When you put them both together I think you get "your dream." For when our hearts honor God He will give us the desires of our heart. I read that somewhere.

Paulicus said...

My problem isn't that I don't have a dream, it's that I just don't know how to accomplish the dream. I guess I would say that at this point it's just too vague, just an idea. I've been okay with telling myself that in time it will crystallize and I just need to be patient, but the older I get the more restless I get about believing that. And then there's always the underlying fear that you have already screwed up the dream...of course that's the debate for sovreignty and free will and when that comes up I just want to beat my head against a wall. In the end this is all probably an excuse because if I were honest I would say that I probably haven't pursued the dream even in it's vague form like I know I should so why should I expect any crystallization? Thanks for allowing me to have this conversation with myself on your blog!

Tony Myles said...

No problem. And for what it's worth, I believe there's the dream that we want, and then there's the dream that we *really* want. For instance, Jacob thought he wanted status, fortune, a pretty wife, and the perks of being the son of Isaac-who-followed-God. Then one day he realized his real dream was reconciliation, humility, restoration, and to be the one who followed God (instead of riding someone else's coat tails).

He found this latter dream... but he walked with a limp towards it after having wrestled with God.

Which raises all sorts of questions, doesn't it? Will we limp towards our true dream or throw a fit that we need a cane in the first place?

Katie said...

TONY, and yes I am yelling at you.
What the heck are you doing asking questions like this?

Ok well that little temper tantrum was all in jest. Funny thing is that I posed this same question a while back and really pushed people to answer, but alas I remained quiet. Funny how we like to make other people tackle head on the issues that we refuse to tackle ourselves.

So I read this yesterday and quickly moved on, not because the question isn't good and right on but because it hit a bit too close to home.

Dreams, desires, longings, passion, the truth that we keep locked up inside our hearts for fear that is others knew what we wanted, or if we admitted it to ourselves, we would actually have to pursue it.

And yet I am still avoiding the question. Ok Mister, you get to be the lucky one who hears what is inside my heart: Wife, mother, and discipler of women. There I said it. I want to be a wife to an amazing man who is running toward Jesus with his arms open wide. I want to be the one that makes his face light up by just looking at me. I want to be a presence of support, strength, and love as he walks with God and moves through the mission set forth for him. I want to be a mother. I want to see life grow within me and feel those tiny hands grasp onto my finger. I want to look into the eyes of my child and tell them of the wonders of the Lord and watch them grow up, seeing and delighting in all that is beautiful in God's creation. And I want to share with women the joy of knowing our Lord. I want to encourage them in their lives, to show them the joy of knowing and studying the scriptures, and minister to their hearts in the way that only another woman can. This may be in the form of writing, or ministry, or some other form, but I want to point them toward Jesus and try and show them how much He loves them and desires to know their hearts.

So that is what you get when you look deep inside the heart and ask that question.

Tom Herzog said...

Great writing! Over this last year God has moved me to seek my heart and not fall in line with what life dictates. To be who I was created to be. Talk about tough. I'm just starting to get II Cor 4: 16 - 18. Most important realizing that the battle is for our heart. We are given only so much time and yet we find everyway to live it for so many other reasons than what our heart tells us. I dream of a world where people seek who they were created to be and act on it. We get so consumed with the destination that we forget life is more about the journey! Great post!

Gman said...

I don't know if it is a great post or not. I'm thinking - Man, there are days I just don't feel it. The passion, my heart for God. There are times my heart is empty. And then there are other days I feel the challenge and yet get exhausted from the Call.

Sometimes it is Day to day but THANKS Be for The Calling.

Bar Bar A said...

This is a great conversation going on here. Thanks for bringing it up and thanks for answering my question.

wilsonian said...

Let me re-phrase that (without the swearing)...

Did you ever ride on a tire swing? Ever had a friend push you on a tire swing higher than you were comfortable going, only to fall off and land on the ground hard, knocking the wind out of you?

Well that's how I feel right now.

LouLou said...

I actually spotted this post a couple of days ago. Read it, and had to go away to process it.

This is just way too confronting. I'm scared. If there's no obvious inner passion in my heart does that mean I'm somehow not as whole as everyone else? Not as good? Deserving? Valuable?

...I don't think so. Perhaps in the journey of discovery into me I haven't yet reached the peak that gives me a view right into the inner reaches of my heart. I hope like crazy that I can get there because if that's what has helped you write with such passion I want me some of that!

Tony Myles said...

I'm not denying that it's a scary thing to venture into your heart. It's like you face reality - not the version we live with but the version our soul deeply longs to live. And when we realize where we're at with it, often we have to make a choice abotu what really matters - staying on our normal momentum or shifting gears and going into a whole new direction.

For the record, I'm processing this, too. It's a journey, but I'm on it. I long to be the kind of person God made me to be... soon I'll be sharing some insights on this in terms of what I'm learning about myself (and the process).

Meanwhile, let's stay on this journey together.

Anyone else?

madelyn said...

Wow...great question, Tony. I do feel that God places dreams and desires in our heart and He works on our behalf to bring us into a position to fulfill those dreams, even when we don't exactly know what path or direction to go, He gently leads us. As I begin to examine my current career path, I realize that I am in a position to develop my dream into reality, not exactly the way I thought it would happen, but I am in a great position none the less. My deepest desire and dream, the thing I am most passionate about is to really live life together, to help facilitate that for others and define, for this generation, what that might look like. What it would be like to really live in community, to "be" the Body of Christ for real...where we actually notice that someone is missing and then do something about it. When one part is hurting or not working properly, we take steps to help. A place where forgiveness and reconciliation are expected not given with conditions and agendas. A community that really rejoices with those who are rejoicing and weeps with those that are weeping. I want to be a catalyst in my community to make this happen.

Thanks for inspiring me to look within and see the blessing that God is providing for me (in my career) was right in front of my face and I didn't even notice! God is amazing!!

Jamie said...

Tony, since moving in August, I have been removed from the church life, except for the fact that now my husband is engrained in it as a vicar (pastoral internship). However, I am no longer a youth director, I am no longer working and pursuing my passion. I say all this to just say thanks. I have read your blog for some time now and appreciate all you write. Especially this post. I have not thought about my real life dreams, after stripping away all the earthly dreams I came up with a few that I feel are my real dreams and passions that God has placed in me.

My dreams are much like those of Katie. I feel I have already married the man of my dreams, as he learns more about being a pastor I see the passion in him to reach others with the Gospel and to embrace Christ, and it makes my heart smile.

My big dream is to be a mother. I want to experience life growing in me, and being able to have a new special bond with our child. I dream of many things that I can't wait to do with my child, and to teach them the love of Jesus is the best part of this dream. In fact this dream is so real right now that it hurts to wait on God's perfect timing. Although I know that His timing is best sometimes I wish He would just hurry.

My other dream is to reach people with the love of Christ. People all over the world and right in my neighborhood. Thanks for getting me thinking. In my day to day waitress job this year, I am not challenged to think much and this was refreshing. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Within the heart... without anything but our heart, what do we have except that which God has made us... our true selves... or true purpose. For those who did look within themselves and see a glimpse of that deep, deep vision inside of themselves i relate to that feeling that starts behind your eyes where you want to cry because it seems it's never going to happen and because if you were there doing it you would weep because of the peace. if you know what i'm saying you've really seen the vision within you. i believe the peace we feel and the churning of tears is a result of being fully in tune with God. to be walking in step with His Spirit to the point that you can almost see His Spirit right where you are because where you are is where you were led by the One who put the impulse in you to go there.

there is that side of it. then there is the side that says there isn't a destination. deep inside my heart i long for peace. but there is no true peace to be found here. creation is groaning. creation is waiting in eager expectation. i groan with it and feel at peace in the times that God's Spirit is walking in the same place, in fact, in the same step as i am.

so i don't know about that dream within my heart. surely it's not the RECONCILIATION of my heart to God because that has taken place... perhaps it is the UNION of myself to God that is the dream. no sin inbetween. that's why those moments when we are walking in stride with the Spirit feels so right, so at peace. perhaps it is because we are closer to being united with our Maker in those moments. could that be the dream we long for?

Tony Myles said...

So... the dream of the Dream?

Anonymous said...

...yeah, the Dream (union FINALLY!) is the dream (little d) in our hearts which is whatever brings us closer to that union while we are still on earth.

Angele said...

I don't know who Well woman is but she is describing me...I can't identify what's in my heart because there's too much crap getting in the way, some of it worthwhile, some of it not.

So I kept reading and couldn't get past what Katie said about wanting to be a wife to a husband running to Jesus with arms wide open--I'm going into the "ugly cry" (as Oprah calls it) because I think that's what's in my heart and I've been too scared to admit because I already have a husband--but he doesn't fit that description.

It's painful and dangerous to want things that just aren't so--but I have to remember it's God's job to work in my husband's heart. And Lord willing, maybe someday we'll be on the same page, with the same priorities, and even get to have dinner together before 8 or 9 pm. I'm hurting deeply but I'm trying to hold it together...I've been thinking about writing a blog post called "Desperate Housewife" to explore this but I don't want to sound like I'm bashing my man--my head understands why things are the way they are, but my heart doesn't. My heart hopes and cries for more but I'm not sure I really believe more is possible. I know what God wants for husbands and wives and I want it too--but I just can't get myself to trust it will happen for me.

Anyway, great question. Ouch, ouch, ouch!