We’re getting close to the end of The Replacements. The season has gone on and this team of losers, rejects and has-beens learned to play well together. We get to the last game of the season, with the playoffs on the line, and the star quarterback decides to return to the team. He is an arrogant, condescending jerk and the team falls apart in the first half. At halftime, the coach is asked what it will take to get back in the game. He responds, “You’ve got to have heart. Miles and miles of heart.” Keanu appears in the locker room, the team rallies around him and they win the game in dramatic fashion. They run off the field as the closing song plays. “We can be heroes, just for one day.”
Proving that all you need to win the game, get the girl and be the hero is to have “miles and miles of heart.”
But what does that mean? We’ve got lots of phrases about the heart. You see a guy and say “He’s got no heart,” or “My heart’s not in it.” What does it look like to “have heart” or “lose heart?”
Plenty of men have lost their heart. They might show up, but they aren’t present. At dinner, they eat with their family but spend the whole time on the phone or watching TV. They go to work, go home, go to bed. Rinse and repeat the next day. Over and over. These men are checked out, empty shells of who they once wanted to be.
Sometimes, they try to fill the void in their chest with anything they can—alcohol, drugs, work, women, even fantasy football and video games. While it doesn’t give them what they are looking for, at least it covers it up so no one else can see they have lost heart. Like hanging a picture over the hole you punched in the wall, it doesn’t fix the problem, just covers it up.
So many of us have lost heart in some area. We had great dreams and desires as young men, and life happened. Being married wasn’t as easy as we thought, especially once kids came along. Doing the same job, day after day, without meaning, without purpose takes its toll. As duty bound men, we put our heads down and do what has to be done. Usually, that involves killing our dreams and desires, and over time we lose our hearts.
We were meant to be much more than breadwinners, bacon bringers, and bill payers. We see men who have miles and miles of heart, and we want that. But when we look around us at all the “stuff”—expectations, demands, and duties—we are overwhelmed. How can we get our hearts back?
The first step, as they say, is admitting we have a problem. Realizing our hearts are dead. Or at least sick. We aren’t where we would like to be, and we want to do something about it. But what?
Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Sometime over this next week, I would encourage you to sit down and write out what it is you want to see in different areas of your life. Start with yourself and what sort of man you want to be. Then expand your vision to your marriage, your children, your friends, work, calling and dreams. Be as clear as you can and dream as big as you want. If you don’t know what it looks like to have heart, you won’t know how to get there. This week, start making your map.
About the Author
Paul McDonald is a writer who shares the story of God’s victory in his life at The Original PMcD. He lives in Charlotte with his wife, who have four children between them. He loves corny comedies and knows way too many movie quotes.