As we all know the heart is a vital muscular organ of the body and the centre of the circulatory system. This system consists of an intricate network of blood vessels, including arteries, capillaries and veins, to carry oxygen and nutrients to the different parts of the body. This helps the body to sustain life and to remove any waste or toxic products. Thus, so much importance in our society is focussed on keeping our hearts healthy by being physically active, eating a good nutritious diet, staying stress free, controlling weight and not smoking.
The word “heart” is mentioned over one thousand times in the Bible with the Hebrew and Greek words being “lebab/leb and “kardia”respectively and referring to the innermost part of the human. This inner part is comprised of mental processes, emotions and will (choice/decision-making). Interestingly, a heart-related topic termed “Heart’s desire” is one of the attributes to exploring one’s “S.H.A.P.E” profile to finding and fulfilling purpose in life. S.H.A.P.E is based on the book by Erik Rees and represents five tools God uses to prepare and equip us to serve others. “S” stands for Spiritual gifts, “H” for Heart’s desire, “A” for Abilities, “P” for Personality and “E” for Experiences.  CRBC recently focussed on S.H.A.P.E in a series of talks; David Rogers discussed “Heart’s desire”. This was unpacked by asking the following questions: What are we passionate about? What needs do we like engaging in? & What challenges do we enjoy? Evaluating these in light of the four other attributes in S.H.A.P.E will enable a holistic understanding of your uniqueness and destiny in life.
Heart’s desire is also one of the topics of a retreat that I attended at Crowhurst Centre to bring in the New Year at 2017. Although this was back in Winter and feels like ages ago, it is a great opportunity to share the experience now as it relates to understanding our S.H.A.P.E profile. The Centre is located in the quiet, beautiful countryside, 4 miles from the coast in the Sussex High Weald and consists of lovely gardens, a fountain, nearby pond and is surrounded by sheep fields. These can be discovered through a short prayer walk around the Centre. There were also opportunities to be creative in an art room, meditate in a small chapel and participate in services in the main chapel.
The theme of the retreat was “Transplanted for life” and based on Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.” Interestingly, this theme coincides with the approaching 50th anniversary of the first heart transplant carried out in the UK which was conducted by surgeons at The National Heart Hospital in Marylebone, London.
The retreat started on New Year ’s Eve on the topic of “The Broken Heart” with a focus on the verse in Isaiah 61:1, “….he has sent me to bind the broken hearted…”, where God’s love and comfort help us to deal with pain, loss and loneliness. On New Year’s Day the topic concentrated on “A New Heart” from a corporate and individual perspective with the need to turn away from the actions that are not in line with God’s instructions and guidance. The topic of Heart’s desire on the 2nd Jan 2017 was based on Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I returned back to Croydon excited and energised to start 2017, asking What is my heart’s desire? & What do I need to do? I encourage you to mediate on these questions, understand your distinctive S.H.A.P.E profile and see what opportunities unfold to serve our community with fulfilment, purpose and joy!
Ursula D’Souza