The bombs were dropping and the promised “shock and awe” had portions of Bagdad, in flames!
The war had started. I remember that day. My heart pounded so hard it felt like I had a bass drum implanted deep inside of me.
When the images started showing on TV, I could hardly believe that I was watching a real war, as it happened, involving US Ground Forces — a second time in my lifetime! A ‘new’ phrase was even coined, “Boots were on the ground!”
For the next several weeks I saw the Coalition Forces seize strategic chunks of the city that was once bustling with so much life, and other sights and sounds of normalcy, transforming it into a complex battleground.
Of particular interest to me, was this 10 square kilometer (3.9 miles) area of central Bagdad, which became the governmental center of the Coalition Provisional Authority. The International Zone of Bagdad became popularly known as the Green Zone.
With much fascination I saw how this perimeter became heavily fortified and was fiercely protected as a bubble of security. There were roadblocks several places around it and no one entered this Green Zone without meticulous search.
It was guarded as a priced possession for many reasons. But the main one was because the immediate Command Center for what was happening in Iraq was in this area.
Predictably there were several threats and security breaches, but the Green Zone never failed as a bubble of security.
This Green Zone recently seized my attention in a vivid way, when I pondered the wise words of an ancient king.
“Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it.”
The weight of king Solomon’s words hit my face with the freshness of a crisp winter breeze. Alas, my heart could be likened to the Green Zone in Bagdad, and it needed better attention. I thought to myself.
With this updated information I was bent on transformation by renewing my mind about GUARDING my heart, protecting my Green Zone. The message in this metaphor is that, the guarding of the heart must be a deliberate and disciplined choice on a daily basis. This may very well be one of the most important functions of our existence, if we desire a fruitful and fulfilling life.
And I could see why I needed to upgrade to a military-size fortification and a fierce first class protection against dangerous threats.
Threats viciously being hurled at me daily. . . .
Scud missiles of anger, resentment and bitterness.
Rocket Propelled Grenades of malice, envy and jealousy. . .
How about the choking fumes of that salacious gossip. . . .
The gunshots of disappointments and shattered hope. . .
The callous effect of the Mustard gas of hatred. . .
The stray bullets of licentious images now ubiquitous even during family programs . . .
And let’s not forget greed, unhealthy suspicions, evil thoughts, and many, many more.
This Green Zone is under constant attacks! Yours too!
The journey to get my heart locked down better than Alcatraz has been an interesting one. I will share this journey in the next several posts.
Maybe, just maybe you will take some cues in guarding yours as well.
Because. . . . .
Every road of life goes through the heart, and every destination in life unavoidably goes through the highway of the heart.
Keep that highway ‘unclogged’, litter-free and well-maintained. How do you do that, you ask?
Let’s explore that in my next post.
In the mean time . . . . . . .
How do you deal with the daily threats or attacks against your heart?