There is an old grist mill near our home in Washington State. It was built 126 years ago along the shore of Cedar Creek, near the winding Lewis River, and it is still in operation! Our recent excursion there was exactly what my senses needed.
My eyes quickly took in the beauty of the falling leaves and the old covered bridge. I watched photographers searching for the perfect shot.
The background of the mill stirred my love for history. I studied the old flume and tried to analyze how it was built. The hand hewn timbers showed years of wear.
The air was crisp and filled with the smell of old wet leaves. We could smell wood smoke from a nearby chimney.
We could hear the hum of the belts running inside the mill as the flour was being ground. But another sound was mesmerizing. In fact, I recorded the sounds of the rushing water just so my soul could be stirred again and again.
I walked away from the path but found myself returning just to watch that water.
It reminded me of a Bible verse I had memorized years ago. Proverbs 4:23 says
Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.
Just recently, I wondered if I really understood these words. Here are two definitions that helped me analyze what the Lord was saying.
“Watch over“: to guard, to protect, to cherish.
“Diligence“: persistence, constant effort, concentration.
Those words began to speak volumes to me. If I am watching over my heart with diligence, I don’t need to have the last word just to prove I am right.
Because…surprise! The Lord might just be showing me where I am wrong! Conviction leads to repentance and that opens the flood gates to the springs of life!
If I am constantly guarding my heart, I am able to speak words of encouragement. If I concentrate and cherish my heart, I realize I am created in His image…and my heart is one of love for myself and for those around me.
The sound of the rushing water echoes in my heart…and I will be reminded of springs of life.