Where the Heart Lies…
Where does your heart lie? Is it in the things you have or want? Is it in keeping a rule or two? Does it belong to your family and friends? I ask because it is where our heart lies most that we will expend our greatest efforts.
“You may have his body, but his heart belongs in Africa.”
That was the note that accompanied the body of Dr. David Livingstone when it returned to England for burial. Today he has two grave sights and two memorials. One with his body in Westminster Abby and one under a Mvula tree where his heart is buried in the village of Ilala Zambia.
David Livingstone wasn’t a great politician or leader of armies. He wasn’t a conqueror or warrior. He was a man who knew where his heart belonged. His heart belonged in Africa. And whatever David Livingstone was, be it explorer, missionary, or doctor; he gave his life for where his heart was. But while his heart was for Africa, it didn’t belong to that continent, it belonged to Jesus. His mission was that people would ultimately get to know Jesus in far away places unseen by anyone who’d ever known Christ. Mile after mile, agony upon agony, he moved forward. He explored a continent for a world who’d never seen it and he gave Christ to a world that never knew Him.
I’ve wonder what his last prayer consisted of. It happened on May 1, 1873 in what is now Zambia. He was left alone in his tent to rest, suffering from the effects of a long fight with malaria and dysentery. Upon return, his workers discovered him on his knees. It wouldn’t have been an unusual sight, he was a praying man. But there was something different this time. This had been Livingstone’s last prayer. He had died on his knees. With love, his friends, the African’s he had given his life for, cut his heart from his body, dried his corpse in preparation, and sent his body back to England. They buried his heart close to where he had died and put up a memorial that still stands. And England entombed his body alongside kings.
When we die, what will be our hearts memorial? Will we have made a difference because of what we gave our heart to? David Livingstone loved Africa with all his heart. He never saw his greatest dreams for Africa come true. But because of what he did, the slave trade eventually ended on the continent. Because of his actions, many people came to know a Savior able to surpass all their needs. Because of him, many have been inspired to the mission field today. My prayer is that we learn where our hearts belong. But first I pray that we know to whom our hearts belong. Because when our hearts are captured by God our lives are forever changed. Our goals become adjusted and our priorities realigned automatically. Only God knows where our hearts will be most effective. Maybe your heart belongs to your children, or maybe to somewhere far away. Whatever it is, I hope that Christ captures our hearts and takes them on an adventure of love where nothing will ever be the same. That adventure is our ultimate purpose on earth. I pray we go on that adventure. I pray it becomes our mission.
God Bless You,