Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23
When I was a little girl, I lived on a farm and I loved walking through the woods behind our house with my dad, or by myself, after he became too ill, and then passed away. It was always so quiet and peaceful, and I had this “favorite spot” beside a small stream that seemed to always draw me to it. I would lie there for hours, listening to the sounds around me, looking up at the clouds, and dreaming about my future.
I remember that it was here that my dad always seemed the most peaceful and talkative. A deeply serious man of ill health in his later years, as I knew him, he could be temperamental and sometimes withdrawn. But here in this spot he would always have a story to tell, and as he bent down to clear away the brush and debris, one time he told me about a wellspring and its significance.
It is a spring that wells up – as the beginning or source of a stream, and as a little boy in the early 1900’s (he was born in 1902), it was his family’s life source, as it grew and flourished – a water supply was provided for his family – drinking, cooking, bathing, and for the farm – the livestock and crops. He told me how he would often have to take a bucket down to the spring and bring water back to their home, and he especially remembered how fresh and clear and clean the water tasted from the wellspring. But if this wellspring became clogged or polluted, no water could or would flow through their farm, so his job was to keep it clean and pure.
So we often did the same with this one spot at a stream near our home. We often picked up leaves, branches, and debris and kept it as clean as possible. It was important to my dad, and something we did together. I even continued to do it after his death for several years, and I will always have fond memories of these times.
In the same way, God has gifted each of us with this “wellspring” – the core of our being, that can be filled with goodness, life, and love, or it can become polluted with discouragement, darkness, evil, jealousy, and fear. We must guard our hearts and keep them pure.
As I thought of this verse today, I couldn’t help but think about our grandsons and their sweet, innocent hearts – filled with so much joy, love, and enthusiasm for life, and how those things just seem to overflow to the rest of us around them. How “unpolluted” and pure their world is at the present time. How unaware they are of the evils around us. How grateful I am for that gift, but we must guard our children and grandchildren’s hearts and keep them pure, as well as, our own. May we let God fill them with His love and goodness.
Dear Lord, thank you for providing us with a place to store up goodness and joy, appreciation for life and love. Help us to guard our hearts from the darkness in the world and to focus on you, our source of hope and peace. Amen