Up front I will let you know now, I borrowed the title of this entry from Dr. David Jeremiah who borrowed it from Max Lucado who wrote about it in his book Six Hours One Friday.
That phrase jumped out at me when I heard it. It was presented as an example of one who had never received all that they they deserved and was left lonely. But it spoke to me a little differently.
An example of one who would give a ring to another person but never give away their heart.
Can you see a young woman standing at the altar of matrimony with all those close to her gathered and she is giving someone a ring but never gives the other person her her fully devoted heart? Her whole heart. She repeats the vows and she makes this life long commitment because it seemed right on paper, because everyone in her life except her thought this was the right thing to do. Everyone thought God must have wanted this for her. Everyone except her. And she lives out her whole life making others happy but never finds true love for herself. Sad isn’t it…
And it can happen. It almost happened in the movie Meet Joe Black, While You Were Sleeping, The Wedding Planner, Run-A-Way Bride; all examples of the potential of lives given away but not wholly.
It can also happen to us. We make a commitment to Christ and we say the prayer, get baptized and we live out semi-good lives but we never fully devote ourselves to following Christ. We say the phrases, we even regularly attend church but we never give everything that is within us, our fully devoted lives. We never let ourselves go to a level of freedom where nothing else matters and you care not for how your commitment will affect those around you.
Here’s an example.
February 14, 1986. Valentines Day. And it never occurred to me until right now almost twenty six years later, that roughly thirty young men gave up their own Valentines Day for a party given for me as I was getting married the next day. All the guys gathered had dressed as the Blue Brothers, black suits, black glasses, the hats, the whole thing, one had even brought a boom box with the Blue Brothers sound track playing. From this point forward in the story all names will reflect the actual person. Why hide their identity now, it was out in the open then. (All present were God following young men and nothing untoward happened the entire evening)
We were on a church bus going to various places, piling off as thirty Blue Brothers, staying for a few moments and then moving on for the next stop. Except in the case of the Varsity.
It’s a Friday night and the Varsity is crowded. We each are standing waiting on those precious words to be uttered, “Whatta have? Whatta have?” People around our group are obviously aware we are present as they are looking and asking what is going on, that kind of thing. Then, all of a sudden…
…All of a sudden, you hear the boom box come on and begin to crank out the theme from the movie, the Blue Brothers opening song. All turn to look. And one of the young men gathered, Jeff Gabriel, something came over him, it was like a trance if you will, a hynotic calling to another level, he had quite frankly, gone to another place. All present stepped back and Gabe, as we know him, went into a solo experience of the Blue Brothers dance, with no concern or care as to what was going on around him. Like I said, he went to another place.
In all my years of going to the famous Varsity I have never seen everything stop and all the activity of the place cease. Everyone was motionless, except for Gabe. A man who had checked his inhibitions at the door. It was a God moment.
Why? Because it was an example to me as to what can happen when we devote ourselves to a moment in time where everything within us is devoted to that moment.
Yet, we rarely have that moment, let alone that life.
I try to recruit young people to the cause of God who have attitude, who have scars, who have battle wounds already. They have already devoted themselves to lifestyles that are harmful to themselves and others around them. If they can find THE life that will give them the true freedom they are desperately looking for, what they can do for God is only limited by the number of their earthly days, and even then, the purpose of their life goes on.
Find the cause you can give your heart to, your life for. God has already planted it within you at birth, you just have to figure out what it is. In the case of the life of William Wallace, from the movie Braveheart, his very last breath which allowed him to scream his very last word on this earth was his cause, “freedom”.
Keep looking, keep asking God, for what “dadgum” purpose am I put upon this earth? (Personally, I believe God responds quicker to prayers which have been enhanced with Southern terms.) But that’s me.
You will never be at peace until you find that reason for which you are to live. Augustine said it this way in his famous Book One of Confessions, “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.”
Kiekegaard wrote it this way in his journal. I will attempt to add nothing to it.
“The thing is to understand myself, to see what God really wants me to do; the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.”
Given a ring, but never given a heart.