One aspect of guarding your heart is having an awareness of what’s going on inside. Often, we can see what’s coming at us, but we fail to see how we are processing life internally and dishing it back out. Self-awareness in our culture is called emotional intelligence or EQ. It’s the ability to know yourself and how you relate to others. It’s an awareness of how you come across. Do you realize how you come across? Ask someone close to you, “How do others view me?” (Husbands, I dare you to ask your wife.) Some people are said to have low EQ, like the father who criticizes his kids for being on electronics way too much while he can’t even go to the bathroom without his phone. Or, it’s the nitpicky and gossipy coworker who fails to see his own incompetence and laziness. You and I both have certain blind spots that we are unaware of or that we simply ignore. It’s this lack of self-awareness that will hinder you from escaping the trivial life and moving toward the weighty life.
My hope and prayer is that The Trivial Life will give you some insight into your ongoing heart struggles so that you will see a way of escape. In the book, we will explore the visioneering process of the heart that leads to the trivial life rooted in false worship and is often creatively absurd. For good measure, we will look at someone who went all in with the trivial life and had the skill, money, and power to pull it off—but found it wanting. Then we will turn our attention to liberation from the trivial life here on this earth while we wait to be with Jesus forever in the eternal weighty life. Escaping provides a fresh start to establish a new way of living based upon the elements and virtues of the weighty life. Finally, we will take a look at real life and specific weighty norms that characterize followers of Jesus.
The Tender and Skilled Heart Surgeon
One summer, my wife and I watched a TV documentary called NY Med. It was a reality show that revealed the emotions and the grind inside a variety of New York hospitals. Often the storyline surrounded some type of heart surgery. The surgeon would meet with the patient and tell him all the problems with his heart: clots, disease, failing, etc. What the surgeon would often say was, “It looks bad, but I am not going to know how bad until I open you up.” This was always a setup because, sure enough, in the next scene when the patient was opened up, it was worse than expected. Sometimes the heart had additional problems; other times blood started to hemorrhage out, and sometimes the patient’s heart even stopped beating for a while. Eventually, the surgeon came through, the patient lived, and everyone praised and hugged the surgeon.
Though you have a brand-new heart when you trust Jesus as your Savior, there are still ongoing complications that need to be dealt with. Invite the Great Physician to open you up. Your issues and junk will likely gush out, and it might be worse than you thought. But don’t be discouraged! I know the feeling. In some of my lower pastoral moments, I become cynical and feel as if most people don’t really change. And in my darkest personal moments, I wonder if I even change. But I don’t want to stay there because the tender and skilled Physician can deal with whatever comes out of our hearts and He is ready to heal. I’m going to go as far as to say, “Expect to change.” Expect a big God to change you. He loves you and is ready to pour out His grace and mercy so that you can escape the trivial life and live in the freedom of the weighty life.
Excerpted from The Trivial Life by Jason S. Lancaster