John 14:1 (NAS)- Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
I vividly remember the smell of Mom’s bacon-n-pancakes as she labored to fill our hearts and stomachs with joy. Saturday mornings were my favorite. My hard-working parents would take their time as they finally relaxed from a hard week at the factory.
Every Saturday morning, Dad would sit at the kitchenette table sipping fresh coffee, reading his newspaper and flirting with Mom, while “Chucho” (choocho) and I put on “The Lone Ranger” as loud as we could.
I can still remember the exhilaration I felt at the age of 8 as my brother and I would pull out our cowboy guns from our holsters and begin shooting at the T.V. screen. “High Ol’ Silver! Away!!” Like a never-ending ritual…Chucho and I would join the Ranger’s exclamation, while Dad resounded his loud “Ssssshhhhh!!! The neighbors are sleeping!!” I also remember how much Dad enjoyed watching us being so loud and happy.
As I got older and discovered that I was allergic to horses, I became discouraged that my dream of one day riding like The Lone Ranger would never be fulfilled. I love horses, but as Pastor Ron can tell you… I get an almost instant allergic reaction just by touching them.
But in spite of not being to enjoy the animals I admire the most, I have learned a great lesson by watching The Lone Ranger. If Silver had not been controlled by bit and bridle, The Lone Ranger would not be able to fulfill his mission of rushing to give justice to those in need.
If we want to become heroes of the Faith, we must first learn how to tame our hearts.–jcr
Over the years, I discovered that my heart was like a wild horse… Strong, courageous, compassionate, loving, peaceful, hateful, vengeful, lustful, gluttonous, greedy, selfish, happy, angry, humble, prideful and depressed. Yes, my heart is naturally like a wild horse that runs out of control, to and fro in every direction according to whatever wind that caresses my instincts. (Eph. 4:14)
On the saddest night of our Master, Lord Jesus left for His disciples a very important piece of advice: “Do not let your heart be troubled…nor let it be fearful” (Jn. 14:1, 27) In other words, that we should not let our hearts run to and fro according to instinct or reaction. That we should work hard on taming our hearts and making them go wherever we have determined, rather than letting our hearts run wild. There would be no Lone Ranger if Silver did not have a bit and bridle.
But not only does Lord Jesus give us the injunction to control our hearts, He also tells us how to control them. “Believe in God, believe also in Me.” (Jn. 14:1) One can have a horse that is equipped with all the necessary items to direct it, but without a clear sense of direction and destination, a bit and bridle would be of no use.
Our Master invites us to simply believe in His Father and in His Teachings. The way to reap the benefits of Christian discipleship is to exercise the resolute determination to follow Jesus’ teachings to the best of our ability, regardless of where our naturally wild hearts will sometimes want to pull-n-tug.
This means that when the wild horse of our hearts want to pull-n-tug towards depression, that we direct it towards the joy of our salvation. When our hearts pull-n-tug towards enmity, we direct it towards loving our enemies. When our hearts pull-n-tug towards prayerlessness, we direct it towards praying without ceasing. When our hearts pull-n-tug towards judgement and condemnation, we direct it towards compassion and mercy. When our hearts pull-n-tug towards gossip, we direct it towards encouragement. When our hearts pull-n-tug towards impatience, we direct it towards forbearance.
If we want to be heroes of the Faith, then we must learn to tame our wild hearts and follow the Master to glory.