A Chair And A Prayer
By Eric Myers
So how do you change yourself? That is a good question. That was also the question I was asking as I stared back at myself from my own reflection in the mirror. I knew I wanted and desperately needed to change if I was going to enjoy these fleeting at-home years. I needed to see my kids differently, I needed to see my wife differently, I needed to see my role differently. I needed a change of attitude and perspective. What I needed was a change of heart.
"A change of heart?" you ask.
What you mean is you need to change your effort, right? You just need to try harder to see your kids differently, right? Nope. My own effort had gotten me nowhere, nowhere but deeper in frustration. At this point I believe the Holy Spirit whispered some wise counsel to me in the form of several scripture verses. These "just popped into my head" as they say in rapid succession. These words were spoken by different people but have the same theme, they were spoken at different times but address the same issue. And the reason for that is that this theme is unchangeable and this truth is timeless: true change comes from the heart.
David prayed in Psalm 51:10, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."
King Solomon, followed later in Proverbs 4:23 with "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
Above all else? Really? Everything flows from it? Wow. Jesus reiterated these truths as well stating in Matthew 15:18-19 that, "the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart….for out of the heart come evil thoughts".
Wow, words and thoughts come from the heart? So, it wasn't enough for me to try harder because my effort was not where the issue was. Monitoring my words and having a filter for my thinking was ultimately futile because words and thoughts come from somewhere. I needed a new heart.
So, I planted myself in our glider rocker and approached the heart changer, God, with this prayer for the first time. I prayed like David prayed, that God would create a new and clean heart in me. That He might help change my heart toward Caroline and toward my wife, Cindy. That He might help me see what I was doing in a different light - that He might show me the power and the significance of being an at-home parent. That He would change my heart…..
And what began to happen was, well, from God. I began to become of aware of things, people began to send me things, people began to tell me things that all had the same theme: it's a gift, it's important, it's special. I will share some of those with you over the next few weeks.