Now I want to show you something out of the book of Proverbs in three different translations. I don’t want to sound preachy, even though I was one for about 20 years before becoming a teacher. (I know, sounds like a country and western song).
Prov 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
Prov 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Prov 4:23 Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts.
It is a most emphatic statement about what is most important in determining the course of your life. To me, this is a clear statement about what is the most important thing about your life.
Unlike country and western songs, your heart is not about romance and sentimentality. Your heart is the place in your core, the prism that reflects and reacts to the world around you. Your heart is also vulnerable. It needs to be kept or cultivated. The best metaphor is a garden.
I have a confession to make. I am totally embarrassed about my garden. In a fit of effort about three years ago, I built two raised garden beds near our back patio. Filled them with quality soil, planted pretty shrubs etc and had visions of relaxed and casual bbqs. Oh, I didn’t bother to reticulate (I thought I cared enough).
Enter our Doberman, Siberian Husky and British Bulldog... all males. First they liked to jump in and rest on the plants (my defences were useless). Second was taking turns in flicking out the soil. Finally they demolished one of the log structures that made the raised bed. The way it looks now, if I was renting, the landlord would be considering eviction. It is now a wasteland that the three of them take turns “marking”. Anyone with more than one dog understands the drill.
I really respect people who have a good garden and, while guilty myself, I do appreciate the work keeping them takes. Hearts need the same cultivation, care and attention.
It is important to us as a College, that in the flurry of all the busyness that can make up education, that this is not lost. The most important thing about all of us is our heart. It is the most important element of your children and our investment in their lives. Hearts can be large or small, embittered or encouraged, fertile or barren, tender or hard, broken and mended. They are not set and forget, meaning that we are not really constant, our hearts can change and the way we are now does not have to be the way we end up. That’s good news if our hearts are feeling in need of attention and an alert if we’re taking things for granted.
Take some time for your heart and we’ll endeavour to take care of the hearts of your children.
Rod McNeill - Principal