“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” — Proverbs 4:23
Major League Baseball’s Cleveland franchise opened the 2022 season under a new name. Although Cleveland had name changes three times within 14 years, this is the first name change in more than 100 years for this historic franchise. The new name chosen was “Guardians,” and for good reason. Outside Progressive Field, the home of the Cleveland franchise, stands four 43-foot statues on the Hope Memorial Bridge known as “Guardians of Traffic.” Standing for almost 100 years, they represent, in a figurative way, the watching over and protection of traffic across the bridge connecting downtown Cleveland with its neighbors across the Cuyahoga River.
Through hundreds of names considered and countless hours in deciding, the team finalized the process by selecting “Guardians,” those who stand guard and protect.
King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said the following: “Guard your heart above all else, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). Our hearts are much more than our emotions and how we’re feeling. Scripture defines the heart as our inner being, our thinking, our reasoning and our will.
There is an enormous amount of traffic that surrounds our lives like a freeway in any major city. This evidently includes our hearts. As we travel on the highways of life, precautions need to be in place to not slow us down or bring us to a total stop due to an accident. Driving instructors emphasize defensive driving to their students as part of their training.
Our hearts need to be guarded defensively in what we encounter in front of us. How will we respond to the traffic around us? What we engage in and where we put our thoughts will be determined by how well we guard our hearts. The “Guardians of Traffic” on Cleveland’s Hope Memorial Bridge is a suitable example of ever-flowing traffic on bridges and in the human heart. It is essential to guard our hearts by not going in a wrong direction and avoiding dangerous situations by keeping our eyes on the road and our hands on the wheel.
Solomon adds in Proverbs 4:25-27, “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”
Guard your heart.
— Loring Schultz
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