So maybe you have heard the saying before, “Miles and Miles of Heart”, but – What the heck does that mean?? or is it even relevant?? Yesterday morning I asked God for a word for the day and He flipped the word heart at me, kinda strange, but I thought what is the Hebrew understanding of that word ” לֵב leb ” and went on an adventure to discover the ancients view point.
The first place you find it in the Bible is in Gen 6:5, you may remember that catchy phrase ” And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Miles and miles of that heart sounds kinda scary, but there is that word
” לֵב leb “ and armed with the word in Hebrew I found this description at a Jewish Dictionary site that connected many, many dots for me: “To the Hebrews, a creature with a heart was a creature who was able to assess the kaleidoscope of impulses around him, sieve out the things that were most important and more or less disregard the rest. Heart-forming lies at the base of both intelligence and determination, and the opposite of having a heart is being either ignorant, indifferent or cowardly.”
So I remembered the caller last week, Danielle from Durham, NC who near the end of her call she described how many interpreted her caring so much as bad tempered, for me the light just blazed on, “THAT’s Miles and Miles of Heart!”
I remembered when I went to my first general managers meeting with the Crown Automotive organization, Royce Reynolds was the owner and at the time I wasn’t a general manager but a general sales manager and was brought by my general manager to sit in on his presentation. What I witnessed I will never forget, these guys, there were about twelve of them, were literally screaming at each other throughout most of the meeting and what really shocked me was that Royce Reynolds seemed to like that, even get a kick out of it. So as we were driving back to Raleigh I asked my Boss, “Why does Royce put up with that screaming, it even seemed as though he enjoyed it?”
My Boss, Ron Hodge’s answer was profound wisdom I had never considered. He said, “Royce wants managers who care deeply, depth of conviction, who are willing to fight for what they believe, as a matter of fact if he doesn’t see that fire in your belly you will never get promoted.” What Ron was telling me was that to succeed at Crown I would need miles and miles of heart. He was right.
So with this understanding, Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. I can now see more clearly that I need to guard my heart from caring about the wrong things or better to nourish my heart’s desire to care for the things worth caring about, especially, my relationships, God first, then wife – family – friends -church.
The other thing I believe this helps me with is kindness, kindness to people who care so much they are freaking out, perhaps if they are caring about the right thing I need to freak out with them, or if I discern they are caring deeply about something I wouldn’t, then at least I can admire their heart and try to help them guard theirs if its way off base.
Kindness to myself too, like when, gee, I really got upset, my heart must be in this, my heart is alive that’s a good thing, now lets take a look at the value of what my heart is set on. So I’m passionate about this, lets do a heart check not start calling myself a maniac, better to say, God made me to care and care deeply.