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“You Gotta Have Heart”

During the shortest and coldest month of the year, somebody had the good common sense to place the only day of the year to celebrate matters of the heart. Some may favor February for the Presidents’ Day weekend, while students and teachers would cite a hard earned week of vacation. But for many, many more, Valentine’s Day trumps them all! In my official ordained capacity I have performed more weddings and renewal of vows on that day than any other day of the year.

Mr. Webster defines the heart as “a hollow muscular organ that pumps the blood through the circulatory system by rhythmic contraction and dilation.” It also defines heart as “the central or innermost part of something.” Interesting? At once, heart is an organ that sustains life. As long as the heart is pumping, we have life. On the other hand, heart is something that can’t quite be defined, even found, as “something innermost” at the core of all human existence.

I want to propose that heart as we know it – the center of our love and affection toward self and others – is not located somewhere just to the left of your sternum in your chest cavity. That’s the location of your “pumping” heart. I believe your true heart is located further north in what we know as the brain. It’s in that region of our anatomy that we consciously decide to love ourselves and others. The Book of Proverbs advises “as a person thinks, so they become” (Proverbs 23:7). If we are ever to love ourselves or someone else, its place of origin is in our thinking mind, the heart of all that matters most.

One other great aspect of the month of February, during this most bleak time of year, is that baseball players will report for spring training. They will work hard on improving their skills in order to go the grueling distance of a 162 game season to win a World Series championship In the musical Damn Yankees the coach admonishes his players, “This game of baseball is only one half skill. The other half is something else, something bigger!” He answers the question of that “other half” singing the song “You’ve Gotta Have Heart” with all the conviction of the prophets of old.

Find the true location of your heart in your thinking mind and praying life and you’ll not only find love, but those things that money can’t buy, time erase, or thieves break in and steal.

Rev. Dana C. Reed, DMin, NCC
Licensed Pastoral Counselor (Cond)