Every Monday I experience traffic gridlock as I drive to Atlanta. And I am rarely if ever bothered by it. But this week was different. I was enraged. I could literally feel the blood pumping through to the top of my head, and every time someone pulled in front of me, I wanted to ram them. Clearly something wasn’t right.
The heart sends out clues to signal us, like red flags of distress. These waving banners are sent up like flares to warn and attract our attention. They signal us in order to alert us of issues rumbling below the surface. Our hearts are very apt to get our attention. The question is whether we will listen to them or divert our focus to a fictitious issue. Actually, if we don’t want to listen to the heart, we can take up a crusade for a non-issue—slay a dragon, rescue a maiden, or lead a campaign. It’s completely possible for these delusions to mute the urgency of the heart, but when the silence comes, as it always does, our hearts will not be quiet.
Extreme agitation, stress, frustration, cursing, and bouts of anger can all speak of deeper issues lying just beneath the surface. And ultimately only the Spirit can reveal the secret issues of the heart. The Word says the heart is desperately wicked, who can know it? But this doesn’t mean I can’t or shouldn’t feel it. I’ve been given a heart in order to feel, in order to experience life, and in order to live within the reality of me. That stupid traffic, the messy kitchen island collecting all my clutter, an item in the back of the car that keeps sliding around until I want to drive off the side of the mountain just to make it stop—the heart will make extreme that which is not important in order to get our attention.
My heart is pushing me to inquire of the Spirit. I must address the real issue with Him or be shipwrecked on a sandbar of menial distresses. These mundane aggravations are just raising my blood pressure, not solving the real issue. It will all continue to compound until the real issue is addressed. As my friend used to say, “The heart is such a nooge!”1 Yep, the heart can be a massive nudging force to get our attention.
The heart is the needle upon the record of our lives. We’re called to live with awareness of our hearts because it’s who we are. The mind thinks it’s the source of life, but in reality it is only as we live out of the heart that we can truly be touched.
Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it.
Proverbs 4:23 NOG
In my next post, I will show that God puts a premium on living from the heart.
1 Nooge: an absolute pain in the neck.