“You gotta have heart, all you really need is heart…”
The lyric from the famous song featured in the 1955 musical, “Damn Yankees” teaches us something about finding the Lord. In the play, a baseball fanatic sells his soul to the Devil for a chance to lead his baseball team, the Washington Senators, to victory in the pennant race against the New York Yankees. (The play, in my humble opinion, should have been written about the Red Sox).
Nevertheless, the agreement transforms the fanatic into a great player who begins to lead his team to victory. Only then does he realize the true worth of the life he has left behind. In the end, the hero outsmarts the Devil, returns to his former life and beats the Yankees! A happy ending!
We could sing this song as an explanation of how to find Jesus. You gotta have heart.
The references to finding your way to God through your heart are featured everywhere in The Bible. And in my own life, only when I had a broken and contrite heart and needed forgiveness did I find Jesus – the only one who could absolve me because I could not forgive myself. As I have grown in my life as a Christian, and I still have a lot more growing to do, I have found this to be true.
Finding Jesus as your Lord and Savior is not a head game; it is a heart game.
Time and time again, I have returned to this idea in the Bible.
Psalm 51 is an eloquent prayer by David: “Create in me a pure heart, O God.” Then he states: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart.”
Psalm 37 emphasizes the heart theme: “Trust in the Lord and do good…Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” The Psalm describes a righteous man thusly: “The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.”
I love that: “The law of his God is in his heart.” It is in our hearts because it guides us when we would go astray. Our brain may say, oh the clerk in the store gave me extra change, and for a moment we may be tempted, tempted, to keep the extra money. Our brain then gives way to the law of God in our hearts; no, the money must be returned.
“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” the young man asks in Luke 10:25. The answer is: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart.”
In my life journey, I have met people who rely on their brains for all things; the heart has been suppressed. It seems they cannot be reached because the witnessing does not resonate in the heart. The message only echoes in the brain chambers.
Our fellow humans on this earth who somehow fail to find Him, it seems to me, follow, not their hearts, but instead follow that faulty compass – the brain. Our mind can easily outwit and out-talk our hearts.
So, to end where I began:
“You’ve gotta have heart
All you really need is heart
When the odds are sayin’ you’ll never win
That’s when the grin should start…”
And that is when you pick up your trusty Word of God, find a chapter and verse, and start reading, with your heart in gear.