A Scary Place: Friday the 13th Edition

Okay, full disclosure right up front. I am a complete scaredy-cat. I refuse to watch horror movies. I just don’t like them. They keep me up at night. When I am alone in the wee hours of the morning, scenes from scary movies decide to set up camp in my brain. Now don’t get me wrong, I love thrillers and suspenseful movies, but I just cannot handle movies with evil content or where people get hacked and slashed. If the movie involves spinning heads and green peas flying out of people’s mouths, I will have to respectfully abstain.

When I was about twelve, I spent the night at some friend’s house. They had built up a tolerance for scary movies, to which I was unaware. They suggested we watch a scary movie, so I decided to man up (or boy up) and agreed to view the film. This was a colossal mistake in my young life. After the movie, I was extremely frightened and hyper-vigilant.

Shortly after the movie, my friends decided to go to sleep at about 11:00 P.M. What kind of sleepover was this anyway? Who goes to bed at eleven on a Friday night? I knew I had a long night ahead of me. There would be no way I could turn my mind off, erase the images I had seen in the last couple of hours, and calm my nervous system down enough to even remotely think about sleeping.

So around eleven we all went and got in our beds and mine was conveniently located in front of a giant window with no blinds or curtains. Perfect. Who knows what kind of deranged psychopath or otherworldly creature was staring in at my scrawny twelve-year-old self, just waiting for the opportune moment to pounce? It was one of the longer nights I can remember. I lay there, awake, staring at the ceiling, without anything to occupy my time other than my thoughts. As dawn broke, I finally mustered up enough courage to get some rest.

Needless to say, I loathe Friday the 13th (and Halloween) because it is nothing but a smorgasbord of scary movies. So, I happily avoid the festivities on television associated with the day. I have no desire to expose my mind to scary imagery and lose any amount of precious sleep (I feel like I don’t get enough as it is. Can I get a witness?).

It is nice to know you can just avoid Friday the 13th if you want. Yet, I will say, there is a scary place that we can’t avoid. It is always there, full of some of the darkest, vilest, and most sinister stuff. Often, it lurks just below the surface, laying in wait. I am speaking of the human heart, your heart and mine.

Our hearts are full of grossness. In fact, Jesus says in Matthew 15, “For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies,blasphemies.” All of the junk that comes out in our lives comes from our hearts. Nasty and scary things lurk down in the dark. We may not even be aware of what is in there at times, and often we keep it out of sight from prying eyes.

We do a wonderful job of hiding the hideousness that exists in our hearts. We learn to act in appropriate ways and keep a lid on the grossness. We learn from an early age what to say and what not to say. We learn to filter our actions and measure our words. So while we may have some monstrous things going on inside, we do great at keeping others from being aware.

The problem is, from time to time, our guard goes down and some of this grossness comes out. We act surprised and say things like, “Well, where did that come from. That isn’t like me. Usually I don’t act that way. Generally I don’t say those things.” But the truth is, all that stuff is there inside our hearts, we just do a great job at hiding it.

Life has its way of getting junk lodged in our hearts. Sometimes it is from being hurt. It can be a result of selfish desires or lust. Perhaps it is a result of bitterness. Maybe we have unhealthy appetites. It could be due to greed or envy. There is a long list of nasty stuff that gets buried in our hearts. If other people could see our hearts or read our minds, we would probably be embarrassed a great deal of the time.

This is why it is so important that we examine what is going on in our hearts on a regular basis. We are reminded in Proverbs 4:23, “Guard your heart above all else,for it is the source of life.” When we let scary, gross, or embarrassing stuff build up in our hearts we can expect them to make their way into our lives. If we want to avoid difficulties in life, then we have to be serious about guarding our hearts and keeping them cleaned out.

You know, as well as I, that our hearts can be far scarier than any movie we could think to watch. So why don’t we watch over them? Are you guarding your heart? When was the last time you had a heart check? Has it been a while? Let’s take a quick inventory to see if everything is alright inside.

  • What are we feeding our minds?
  • Any problems roosting in your heart?
  • Anything you are bitter about?
  • Celebrate the failure of anyone lately?
  • Find yourself watching or looking at things that you know you shouldn’t?
  • Anything that you keep blaming others for?
  • Got any secrets you hope no one finds out about?
  • Told yourself lately, “Well, that isn’t a problem. I can stop whenever I like!”?
  • Do things come out of your mouth on a regular basis that you have to apologize for?
  • Lied to anyone recently?
  • Had to delete your browser history lately?
  • Making excuses for anything?
  • Waiting for someone to come make things right with you?
  • Find yourself pointing out other people’s flaws?

How is your heart? Everything alright in there?

Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.
Josh

8 Comments

  • Ok, so I have a little anger that is lurking in my heart, but let me briefly share the story. Generally, I am a nice person. I do not cause problems and I do not start them, but if someone starts something then I finish it (Or at least try). I try to get along with people and be happy. Most of all, I do not like to fight with anyone.
    Anyways, I was at work a couple days ago and one of my co-workers made a mistake that I had to tell him about (really had no choice) and he said something I did not like, but I did not reply to his comment. Other co-workers pumped up his head and made him feel tough because I choose not to make a scene. Later, I found out he still had not fixed the problem so I reminded him that the problem was not fixed, but before I could finish my sentence (I have a stammer), he stopped what he was doing, decided to get in my face and pushed me (Might I add, for no apparent reason)! I was in shock because I could not believe it was happening at work, like he had no fear of being fired. Afterwards, I felt disrespected not only because he pushed me, but mostly because he pushed me somewhere I could not fight back (Bills have to be paid). I calmed down and approached him in the nicest manner I possible could after being disrespected for no reason and I told him that I could not fight him at work, but I wanted to settle what he started anywhere outside of work. I mean, he started it and if you push me then you must have a problem with me, right? I just wanted to go somewhere where no one could jump in and save him, I would not get fired and we could duke it out like real men. When I calmly asked him to settled what he started somewhere else outside work he made another huge scene and tried to fight me at work again (not to mention he pushed me again, but no one saw it cause I didn’t make a scene) after I just told him I could and would not fight at work. I dropped the situation because he was not going to take what he started and do it somewhere else outside work.

    So, I guess what I am saying is that I want to get my anger out and that is why I wanted to settle what he started, but he will not be a man and push me somewhere else outside of work. He has not appologized and I have no way of getting rid of that anger that built from that incedient.

    (I had to shorten the story some so it wouldn’t be too long)

    Your thoughts?

    • Josh Fults says:

      I apologize for my late response. I have had a lot going on this week. I will just pass on what Jesus teaches. He commanded us to turn the other cheek. I realize that is the most difficult thing in the world to do, but I have found that he is right (as always)!

      Violence always begets more violence. I would say don’t escalate the conflict. Instead, just kill the guy…….with kindness. I have found when you do that it eats people up way worse than if you beat their tales.

      Don’t hold onto the anger or dwell on what he did because you are just giving him free rent in your head friend.

      Hope this was helpful.

      Keep me posted on how everything goes.

  • Joe says:

    Great Post Josh……..I will definitely give a hearty AMEN!! on the lack of sleep – 3 kids dont give ya much time for sleep.

    • Josh Fults says:

      Thanks Joe. I have really enjoyed getting to know you on here! Where are you from again?

      • Joe says:

        Same here Josh – I get quite a bit of insparation from your gifted writing – As far as where i am from – dont really want to post that on here.
        I am in Texas – I am a Houston Texans Fan and am in the Houston area. What about you Bro?

  • Joe says:

    small world – thats for sure. We have a Time Share near Tyler – Lake O the Woods that is probably close to you – we are going to try and take the kids up there before the summer is up. Any good Golf courses up that way??

    • Josh Fults says:

      I went to Graduate school in Tyler. Met my wife there. Definitely a small world! As far as golf courses, I don’t know. I never had time to play while in school. We play at Rayburn Country in Jasper. It is beautiful.

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