Like a butterfly flitting from flower to flower, floating up to the blue autumn sky, fanning its wings beautifully on a blade of dewy grass only to be plucked from the land of the living by the chubby fingers of a curious child, the whimsical heart can be both beautiful and dangerous. I know; I have one.
The whimsical heart might be easily admired from afar; it has had countless adorable starring roles in movies (usually as blond Kate Hudsons) that encourage the whimsical person to “keep bein’ you!” and demanding that everyone else stand back and let the little one fly free. And what’s not to love? The whimsical heart is creative, passionate, joyful, fun-loving, and unique. That’s the part they show in the movies, anyway. What they don’t show is that the whimsical heart is also uncontrolled, shifting, and easily tossed about. Without boundaries, a whimsical heart follows Creativity, Sensationalism, Emotionalism, or Selfishness, which all end up in disaster (even though it was deliciously fun getting there). Even whimsical hearts that love God can spin ’round and ’round because we naturally approach God and His Word as a refreshing frolic or a gorgeous piece of artwork. Although our hearts might break over the beauty of the King, it might never dawn on us that His kingdom is full of practical wisdom for our day-to-day actual behavior. Left alone, we don’t easily discern between God’s definition of “lovely” and the world’s definition… nor do we remember that it’s important to discern between the two in the first place… nor do we necessarily want to discern between the two. (If you don’t have a whimsical heart, this is probably quite difficult to comprehend, but it’s true!)
These meditations have developed as I deal with regrets: things I’ve said, done, or thought in the past that give me shivers today. I can’t tell you how often my heart will seize in memory of something so ugly or ungodly that I’ve done, believing at the time that I was being funny or sensual or fabulous. I’m growing increasingly tired of learning about healthy boundaries through mistakes I’ve made rather than through wisdom and warning. So, I’ve been asking God to give me some insight about my heart and some guidance for the future. I’m not surprised that one of the first things God has done is revealed some boundaries that I will need to keep in place in order to be transformed from an uncontrolled whimsical heart to one that is controlled by the Holy Spirit and who stands firm in the Truth.
Presenting “The Needy List” of the whimsical heart:
* People who aren’t intimidated by a little passion and aren’t as easily convinced that every whim is gorgeous and right (enter Ryan, my husband; thank God)
* The permission to acknowledge that we actually do need boundaries (lots of people want to “rescue” the whimsical heart by encouraging it to be “more free,” when in fact they are shewing it towards chaos); the faith to believe that those boundaries will only cause our creativity and passion to become more beautiful (enter my family and dear friends)
* Deep instruction in the Word of God that demands a practical, consistent, behavioral response (enter Vivienne’s nap time when I can read God’s Word; as well as my dear friends and family, again)
* The courage to sloooooow down and respect warnings, consequences, and practical wisdom (enter the Holy Spirit, solitude, submission, good literature, and long afternoons on the beach… and turning 25, which seems to have been a defining moment in my ability to consciously discern between wisdom and foolishness)
* The divine ability to love the unchanging direction of the Holy Spirit over our own shifting passions (enter the Holy Spirit and His Word, again).