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"Football is not a matter of life and death, it is more important than that."

Bill Shankly, Liverpool Football manager

The eyes of your heart

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you. Ephesians 1:18

When Paul prays for the Ephesians that the eyes of their heart might be enlightened, it seems at face value a strange expression. Our hearts do not have eyes! For the ancient Hebrew, however, the heart was not just an organ which pumped blood around the body. For them the heart was the seat of emotion and even the seat of thought.

Thus when we are told to love God with all our heart (Deuteronomy 6:5 and also quoted by Jesus in Matthew 22:37) it means more than just the emotions. It has the added sense of loving God with our whole being. Or when the Psalmist says “The fool says in his heart,

‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 53:1), the reference to the heart somehow makes the remark stronger. In one sense this seems strange to us, but don’t we also use the work heart figuratively.

In Yahoo answers, I found the question: “what does it mean to have heart because my coach says I need to have heart?” The answers suggested included:

Heart is wanting it more than the next guy;
Having heart is never giving up on yourself or your team mates;
Spirit, motivation, drive to win;
Passion for the game.

May the eyes of your heart be opened so that as you play and train you will do it with passion, never giving up and knowing the hope to which Jesus has called you.

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