As a young boy who grew up watching Razorback football, I assumed running out of the “A” at Razorback Stadium would be the pinnacle of human experience, that is until I actually ran through the massive line of hog-wild band members and cheerleaders. It was an amazing experience, however I expected a transfiguration that rivaled Pinocchio’s epic tale. As I exited the athletic complex that fall evening without a heart change, I discovered something that has shaped my life’s journey, something worth remembering. NO creation has the power to transform my heart. Only Creators can do that. Only creators can re-create.
One reality that seems to be common among all humanity is our constant desire to be different. We have all heard the saying; “The grass is always greener.” It’s such a symptom of our heart’s condition and it’s very, very normal. In light of this, when we sense a credible opportunity for heart transformation, we pounce on it like a tiger pounces its prey. Admit it or not, most of us are deeply motivated for deep change. We want to feel different, be different, see different, and make a difference. This is at the core of our being, and I believe it was placed in us by God himself for good purpose. Just look at the gyms each and every new year and you will have a visual of my point. However, the vehicle we choose to take in this journey of transformation is where humanity divides. Let me explain why I believe that heart transformation comes only from the inside out.
It’s hardly news to anyone reading this post that even the mightiest of trees began as small seeds. However, when it comes to matters of faith, we sometimes expect change to come from the outside and work its way inward. We expect what is very natural to take an opposite course, primarily because the authentic takes more effort. In our mistaken mindset, we work hard to recruit the perfect resources that will bring about the transformation we are deeply hungry for. Our schedule reflects new places and new people that we place great expectation towards. Our homes fill up with new things in which we hold great expectation. But let me repeat something briefly, creation has no power to transform creation. Only the Creator reserves the right for that job. In view of this truth, allow me to offer three questions that will lead us towards authentic heart transformation.
1. What seeds are you planting in your heart? Like it or not, your future lies in the small seeds of word and thought which you are allowing to take root in the core of your being. Seeds come and seeds go, the difference is in the rooting. Only rooted seeds will grow.
2. Are you “hoping” in some creation for heart transformation? It bears repeating that creation cannot transform creation any more than a rock can fundamentally change another rock. It may cause it to change form, but creation has no power for transformation. Only Creators hold that power.
3. Is your Creator trustworthy? There are many worldviews represented in the reading of this article. However, I would encourage all of us to test our belief system against the following four filters:
ORIGIN: Where did we come from?
CONDITION: Why is life so broken?
REDEMPTION: Who will fix it and how?
DESTINY: What about happily ever after?
Nature presents the greatest evidence that authentic growth and transformation take place from the inside out. However, we spend time, money and energy pursuing an “outside in” heart change that never amounts to more than an artificial and superficial mask. Authentic transformation is marked by seeds which are sown and cultivated by the ones which He created. But only then can the Creator make them grow. In this unfolding drama, we have a significant role to play. Tend the garden of your heart.
“Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” Proverbs 4:23