It has been said, “Of all things, the human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked.” However, from it flow the springs of life. In this post I plan to explore the current desires of my heart in order to discover a greater awareness of myself and ascertain a greater understanding of our most central organ.
One heart has many desires and over a lifetime millions are felt in between the intervals of its pulse. While a select few are acted upon, it has been my experience that most, for better or for worse, either dissolve into oblivion or are amassed within the innermost chambers, labeled with the tag, “maybe one day.” Last summer, as I performed an inventory of my desires both great and small, I discovered some amazing things. In my post from August 2017, I shared how my desire to be the best servant of God I can be, supersedes my desire for a wife (which is a great desire). As the inventory continued, I recognized the immeasurable joy my soul experiences when I finally take action and transform one of my “maybe one day” desires into a tangible reality. This experience was notably first felt when I purchased and learned how to ride a motorcycle. Now, as I ride through the back country roads of San Diego County, my soul is fed, not only through the fullness of the moment at hand, but through the totality of the sensation on a meta-scale; namely, the fulfilling of a desire I’ve had in my heart ever since I saw Snoopy and Woodstock cruise through the desert on a chopper in an episode of Charlie Brown back in the 80’s. Speaking of back country roads…a little detour. Have you ever been driving down the road and all of a sudden realize, “I have no recollection of the past x miles of road?” Like, I know I’ve been driving, and I know I’ve been alert (or at least semi-alert), but I feel as if I’ve jumped a segment in space. This happens to me from time to time when I get absorbed in deep thought while driving. While this is sobering in my car, it’s a bit more eyeopening when I’m on my motorcycle. Ah, it’s great to be alive! : )
Currently, one of the more significant sources of joy in my life flows from a similar path of action. Along with the desire to ride a motorcycle, another desire I’ve had from a very young age which I have finally taken action on is Portuguese-American dancing. As a little boy I remember admiring all the adults as they danced the Chamarrita at the festas in Buhach. As the Caller called the moves, I remember being amazed with the utter uniqueness of what was happening. From then I’ve carried the life long goal of being a caller in the Chamarrita. While I have yet to achieve that goal, I am a whole heck of a lot closer this year than I was last year. After practicing for the past eight months, I am excited to announce that my first public performance will be this upcoming festa on Sunday, May 20th. If you’re around the San Diego area you should definitely come check it out. All that said, as I have been investing in this over the past several months, my smile beams from ear to ear, my spirit rejoices, and my soul shouts in triumphant victory, “YES, FINALLY!”
Obviously a desire satisfied and a longing fulfilled is cause for great celebration. However, one can only experience such satisfaction if they are willing and able to take action, and more importantly, if they are aware of what they need to take action on. I was discussing this with my friend Kendall and she said, “Aaron, taking action on long standing desires is great, but I think the problem for most people is identifying what those desires are.” As I sat with that, I realized it was true…for me and for many others. In the chambers of our hearts our desires lay dormant, slowly being buried by the sands of time until a stirring, something which awakens and reminds us of longings past lifts them to the surface. If we are blessed with the mindfulness of such knowledge, if opportunity greets us with the potential to perform, and if we are willing and able to act on it all…oh what a glorious day! Conversely, when we are unable to take action on a desire for whatever circumstance, it is a cause for grief.
Last summer I was able to spend a week with my sister Doreen and her family out in New Jersey. Among all the great things we did, the highlight was seeing Beautiful: The Musical (The Story of Carol King) on Broadway. While the musical was fantastic, I am always torn whenever I experience musical theater because on one hand, my heart is filled with gladness because I am experiencing a heart language. On the other, I grieve because I wonder what my life would have been like if I had pursued music instead of physics in college. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to be doing what I’m doing now, and who’s to say I wouldn’t have ended up here anyway, but I think it’s part of being human to wonder “what if…” Since I cannot go back and change the past, and since I am happy with my life now, I guess the only thing I can do is to let go. Sometimes that is easier said than done…
Ahhh, what’s a post on the desires of the heart without speaking of love…
Last August I met a fantastic woman (G1) who was interested in me. As we spent time getting to know each other we decided to start dating. Hallelujah! Life was wonderful. As we continued to increase the amount of time we spent together, I found myself becoming extremely vulnerable with her, sharing things I never though I’d share with anyone, especially a woman I was dating. It was an exhilarating and an incredibly hopeful time. While the cause of my excitement was multifaceted, a large chunk stemmed from finding something I was uncertain I would be able to find again. To be specific, there is a woman (G2) from my past, who is married now, who I have a powerfully charging chemistry with. About two decades ago G2 entered my life. As the years progressed our friendship grew and strengthened, preparing the fields of our hearts for the love we share today. Until recently, the chemistry we share, the electricity which sparks, has been unmatched by all who have sought the chance. For reasons known and unknown, our lives never synced. While close in heart and spirit, we repeatedly drift apart, as though torn by unseen currents.
During this time of dating G1, I met with one of the pastors of my church to speak to him about G2 because I was motivated by the amazing message he gave one Sunday about grieving. As I reflected on his words, I realized I needed to grieve the loss of that relationship (G2) and finally surrender it over to God. As I was in the process of doing that, G1 entered my life, rapidly becoming my heart’s confidant and showing me that it IS possible to achieve that same chemistry with another individual. As the weeks passed by, my knowledge and love for G1 grew in a life animating way. For the first time in a long time I felt truly happy and couldn’t share enough about this amazing woman who had entered my life. All was well and going smooth until the night my world crashed in an instant.
As I drove to meet her my heart broke more and more with every mile. Words fail to convey the pain I was feeling at that moment. We had a 30 minute conversation that evening, but it was a blur for us both. As I drove home I was in lament. I was an utter mess and couldn’t even cry, which made it worse because there was no release…that is, until I started singing. One of the ways God speaks to me most powerfully is by placing a song on my heart. As I was driving home, the lyrics of “You have called me higher
” was on loop in my heart. In reflecting on the reason for that, I started laughing because God had reminded me of a sermon I gave the inmates a few months ago about Paul and Silas. The heart of it being, in the midnight hour of your life, if you want the walls to come down and be set free, start singing to the Lord. Well, sing I did, and just as soon as the first words left my mouth, the tears fell and fell in abundance. When I arrived home I had to talk to someone. The first person I called was my brother Michael. I frantically called him three times in a row, but he didn’t answer. I called my friend Stephen Johnson next, but he too didn’t pick up. Finally I thought of Greg Geldmacher. God bless Greg. He picked up and heard me out. As he prayed for me, which was what I needed the most, I didn’t hear a single word he said because I was crying, but I appreciated every utterance coming across the line. Greg brought me great comfort that night. Eventually, Michael called back and ended up coming over to be with me and joined me for a midnight run.
The rest of that week I was super depressed. It very well could have been the worst week of my life. It was the most my heart has ever been broken. As time progressed, things became easier (life has a funny way of marching on like that), but I was still in a fog. As the fog began to clear, I received breakthrough in two different ways. The first occurred as I was praying in prison. God blessed me with the healing insight that I’d been spending too much time looking back. Instead of ruminating on what was, I needed to focus on what will be. The second came as I was talking to my sister Doreen, I realized the main issue was I was in an emotional limbo. While my girlfriend had broken up with me, I hadn’t broken up with her. Also, during that week I met with my mentor Larry Eddingfield who really blessed me. Instead of preaching Romans 8:28 to me, he showed me how it was unfolding in my life. While this is only a fraction of all that happened during that season of my life, that is what I carried into church one Sunday as the pastor began his message.
The fact that the scripture was Matt. 6:19-24, part of the build up to 6:33 (one of my life verses), was not lost on me. Though the heart of the message rested with the truth of verse 24, “one cannot serve both God and Mammon,” I was asking, “What is my Mammon?” I did not have to search long…my Mammon is Wife. My desire for a wife is a consuming fire. My desire to have a woman to love and to love deeply. To hold in a deep embrace and to feel her love radiating from the core of her being to mine as she whispers “I love you.” To have someone who will not complete me, but complement me in every way I need support, challenge, and encouragement. Oh…I know the truth of God’s Word, but it doesn’t make the waiting any easier. As the recently departed theologian Tom Petty famously said, “the waiting is the hardest part.” People tell me to trust in the Lord and to wait on him. Shoot, one of the most healing verses this past season was Psalm 27:13-14, and verse 14 says, “Wait on the Lord, be strong and take heart, and wait on the Lord.” It’s easy to be strong for a period of time, but when that period last for years…well the strength of every man wanes in time. This recent event was particularly devastating because I was finally given a taste of something beautiful, the sent of something amazing and lovely was in my midst, and then due to a circumstance which was completely outside of my control, it was all taken away. It has been hard. It sucks.
All that said, I know the key to my current season rest in Psalm 37:4, in delighting in the Lord, but that is a very difficult thing to do 24/7, especially while the arrow of loneliness pierces most deeply.
Before I conclude, I must share two revelations I received at the end of 2017. One, while I was reading 1 Chron. 6, yes the genealogy! I was asking, “What does this passage teach me about God?” It taught me that God has a plan and an allotment/provision for everyone. What does that mean for me? He has a plan and a provision for ME! Second, in a discussion with my ex-girlfriend (G1), she told me before she ever approached me, she prayed to God and he told her we would have a deep and lasting bond, but not to distract me from what he was doing in my life. Whether our bond will be deep and lasting is TBD. However, her story made me think. I’ve known for at least 15 years that I am meant to do great things (I mean, to whom much is given, much is expected). With that said, I have a humble confidence that the Lord is going to use me to do great and mighty things moving forward. The question then is, why don’t I have the same assurance that he will bless me with a helpmate suitable for said venture? This is a place I’m trying to get to as I delight in him and his faithfulness, provision, love, and purpose…trusting in the truth of Matthew 6:33
Unmasked and Unfiltered,
p.s. Below are some quotes and additional bits which I thought were relevant to the topic at hand. Enjoy!
“The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know.” – Blaise Pascal
“Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.” -H Jackson Brown Jr.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” -Steve Jobs
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched–they must be felt with the heart.” -Helen Keller
“God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” -Psalms 73:25, 26
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” -Proverbs 19:21
Lyrics: You’re what I’m counting on
When the night stops pushing up the day
When the miles drop me on the open planes
When I’ve lost grace with the lady of the dawn
You’re what I’m counting on
You’re what I’m counting on
Where the hounds run
Track me in my sleep
When I can’t trust the company I keep
When I’ve push passed the point of pressing on
You’re what I’m counting on
You’re what I’m counting on
Where the bombs break
Right outside my door
And I can’t shake the onset of my wars
When the stakes are raised
We hold the hand we’ve drawn
You’re what I’m counting on
You’re what I’m counting on