I remember hearing the words, "heart murmur," from our daughter's pediatrician when she was a young child. An immediate alarm sounded in my head, quickly followed by the doctor's reassurance. "These types of murmurs are typically benign and something the child grows out of. We'll keep a watch on it."
True to his words, my daughter did grow out of it. The physical heart murmur, that is. But there was another type of heart murmur birthed in her by God that continues to grow to this day.
A spiritual heart murmur.
In my journey through Exodus of late, I learned more about this type of heart murmur in chapter 35. The children of Israel have just witnessed a reflection of God's glory through their leader. Moses met with God and the people knew it. They saw it in his countenance, his words, his actions. All of which prepared them for the task before them--building the tabernacle.
Over and over again in this chapter, the writer notes that "everyone whose heart stirred him" contributed to the construction project. Fine brooches, earrings, bracelets, articles of gold, and colorful material and animals' skins. The peoples' hearts were so stirred to give, to be a part of something greater than themselves, that they brought much more than was needed. Moses finally had to tell them to stop giving. The New American Standard translation says that Moses "restrained" them from bringing any more gifts.
How is it that a people, stiffnecked and stubborn, as we often see on their journey through the wilderness, are in fine form during this massive undertaking?
I would suggest that the heart murmur created when Moses came off Mount Sinai in meeting with God moved them from the mundane to the momentous. They now had the unique opportunity to be a part of fulfilling a piece of God's great story.
In reality, they were a part of it all along, but due to their grumbling failed to see it.
So I ask myself: When was the last time my heart was stirred to be a part of something great for God? To be so caught up in a piece of His story that I forgot about myself and put my hand to the task He has given?
Could it be possible that the greatness lies not in the project or results, but in my heart attitude?
The front lines of success are not necessarily places of greatness for God. Often, and I suspect more often than not, greatness blossoms by the bedside of a shut-in. At the sink washing dishes. On the floor playing with a toddler. In the words delivered to a grumpy spouse.
In the mundane, quietly putting one foot in front of the other, doing the next thing.
And all the while, with a heart murmur, rejoicing to be a part of God's great story.