by Jan Powell
(Proverbs 4:23, NKJV).
A spin on a familiar verse can bring fresh inspiration. I recently shared this thought with a friend. “Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues you write about.”
Heart-keeping, like housekeeping, requires regular attention. We attend to and protect what we value. We also talk and write about the issues we prioritize.
Without regular cleaning in my home, junk mail, trash, and various kinds of clutter accumulate. Similarly, if I neglect time with the Lord, his guidance and inspiration disappear under a mess of distractions. Then internal disorder reigns.
To treasure the right things, we need to discard others. Our culture of acquisition can lead to material excess overwhelming our homes. I had a friend whose three-car garage had no space for a single car.
That’s not the kind of keeping the Lord wants. Rather than temporal treasures, he wants us to dwell in his word and his wisdom—his unending ideas. We need to prevent thought clutter from blocking our creativity. So, we set a watch and he fills our imaginations with the right things to write.
Well-directed thoughts keep us in touch with divine inspiration. Some pastimes may occasionally divert us from his best, but with a consistent pursuit of him, we reap the rewards of finished works. Bible reading and prayer help keep me on track.
Daily devotion tidies our hearts and aligns us with God’s desires. We make time to write. We dismiss excuses. Reaching God-inspired goals means we plan and follow through. Heart-keeping purges our distractions and we make progress.
We can clean up and start over at any time. After years of detours, excuses, and losses, I’m reworking unfinished manuscripts that have languished in computer folders. Today I’ll celebrate my first steps back to an increasing word count. The bounty of God’s Word restores our creative flow. The more we saturate ourselves, the better our stream of thoughts and our inward focus supports the words we compose.
Let’s tend the space in our hearts so divine issues shine from our words.
Write with me, Lord. Fill my mind and bless my keystrokes. Let my heart-keeping discipline fill me with your thoughts and words. Amen.
Jan Powell, a graduate of the University of South Florida has two small businesses. As a writer, she has worked with thirty people on forty book projects through Writing with You. Jan edits, coaches, and ghostwrites for fiction and non-fiction. She has been published in The Wordsmith Journal, Splickety, and regularly contributes to Inkspirations.