Daily D – Proverbs 4:23

by | Jul 14, 2023 | Daily D | 0 comments

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Proverbs 4:23  Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (NLT)

Dean Koontz has a series of books about Odd Thomas. The first one is called, wait for it, Odd Thomas. This is one of the most enjoyable literary diversions I have read in recent months. Koontz made me cry while sitting next to our son-in-law and a complete stranger on the plane home from vacation. However, I think they were both asleep thereby preserving my dignity. 

One of the things Odd Thomas does to protect his heart is to avoid television news. He watched it once and the anchor said the world may be destroyed by an asteroid. Then she smiled at the end of the newscast and wished everyone a good day. He decided then and there to avoid news like that and people who could smile and wish you well after delivering it. 

Odd Thomas sounds wise to me. 

You may have noticed how news networks are less competitive these days. Instead, they are combative. Part of the problem happened about forty years ago when news programming on the networks was moved to the entertainment division. 

News gave way in increasing measure to entertainment. At first, this included a heartwarming story at the end of the broadcast featuring someone who did something nice. Then news stories were accompanied by commentators who told us what to think about the news story just reported. The commentary increasingly became one-sided. 

Then CNN was born inevitably followed by its competitors. More and more news-type programming became nothing more than ideological commentary disguised as news. Today, if we are not careful, we are prone to confuse Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity for news programming when it is actually ideological commentary defending predetermined worldviews. 

It would be better for us all if we joined Odd Thomas in turning off the television.

Turning off the tube is a good way to guard our hearts. What’s another? To borrow a thought from the Harry Potter novels, what’s your best defense against the dark arts?

Following some bread crumbs of a particular story yesterday led to the discovery of more than moldy bread. Painful, hateful, downright evil information became more and more prevalent. I turned away and considered a bath. However, I’m not sure how to wash that junk out of my eyes. 

Again, how will you guard your heart today? The best defense against the dark side is to fill up to overflowing with the good stuff. I’m reading the second book in the Odd Thomas series, Forever Odd. I am also experimenting with a rich volume of powerful prayer guidance called Celtic Daily Prayer. A new friend with the same surname handed me a book by a leader thinking parallel thoughts with time-tested applications in real-world experience. Thankfully, I have another airplane ride this weekend. 

Solomon should have taken his own advice. He let his guard down. He wasted his wisdom and wealth on too many women and too much excess. He is remembered as much for Ecclesiastes as for Proverbs. Having lived the failed experiments of Ecclesiastes more than we care to admit, maybe it’s a good time to return to the collected wisdom from across the ages, the kind of wisdom that endures the tests of time. 

Listen again to Solomon at his best:

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Which course will you follow today?

I will guard my heart against this present darkness by focusing on the greater light of our Father in Heaven.

Our Father, flood my life with your light. Empower me to turn away from the allure of darkness. Bless me with the joy of your brilliance. Empower me to carry your light so that you may illuminate my little corner of this world. Amen. 

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