I've never been the biggest or the toughest, but I try to live with heart. Anything less and I might cave to daily fears. It's been a central theme to the characters and stories that have moved me through my life. It's a trait that draws me near others. It's the thing that's moved me toward the best things I have. I keep on searching for a heart of gold.
But what does that even mean, "Live with heart"? Is it something you only do in the moment? Is it something you prepare for? Do you look back when it's all done and realize heart was there?
Here's where I've landed. I'll unpack how I got there in a just a bit.
Heart is core. It's central. Heart has emotion, passion and strength. Heart has fortitude. Heart won't back down. It stands its ground. It's the posture of those who weather storms. It's a badge of honor for those who fought battles others didn't even know were there. To live with heart is to know who you are and what you stand for, and the ability to navigate changing circumstance without losing those bearings. Heart is kindness in a cruel world. Heart is courage where others tremble. Heart is recognizing a plot beyond the present.
When we live with heart, we enter the ranks of those who cultivate the future for the better. We grasp the unique ability to impact something greater than ourselves despite odds that are greater than ourselves.
Let me paraphrase a message I heard that put much of this into focus. There's an African proverb that shapes its youth - "Run Toward the Roar". We've all seen footage of that poor gazelle that gets taken out by a pride of lions. What we don't see is the roar in the distance that triggered the chase. Slower, older, less-able lions circle their prey and belt a ferocious roar that sends the prey running right into the claws (and teeth) of the pride. The pride, lurking in the distance, unleashes a coordinated attack that ultimately seals the deal. The prey is usually young, sick or weak.
Running toward the roar would imply an awareness that, scary as it may be, there's a stronger likelihood of survival if the prey would hoof it right toward the sound that often signaled its death.
Imagine a people that did the same.
I love the outcome. The young would realize their fears are unfounded. The sick would see a path to survival. The weak would find their strength.
The roars I've heard have been jobs, decisions, providing for kids, and maintaining my marriage. The roars have been sounds of guilt or pain or disappointment. The roars I know know my weaknesses. They know my faults. They know my name. But what they don't know, is that I won't keep running away. I won't succumb to the ambush that lies in wait. The pride is in the bushes with comfort zones, negligence, apathy and mediocrity. They try to hold me down. I'll run toward the roar instead. I'll live with heart. I'll do it in the moment. I'll recognize roars sounding in the distance. And I hope more than anything else, that when I look back on my life at the end of my days, I'll realize heart was there all along, ready to take on any roar that came my way.
What's roaring loudest in your life right now? How can you take it on? What are you running toward?
I've never done this before, but I'd like to use this post to extend an invite. I wouldn't have a fraction of the heart I think I possess if it weren't for my faith, which is ironic because it used to be a huge roar. If you're in a similar boat, are just exploring the idea or want to spend an Easter with a friend, shoot me a message.