Follow Your Heart

I find the apostle Peter one of the most fascinating characters in the Bible. He was a very impulsive man, often letting his heart guide him instead of his mind, and it is perhaps one of the reasons he was able to accomplish as much as he accomplished. I'm pretty impulsive, too, so let me explain how this works by telling you about the mind and the heart, albeit from the poetic, not the biological perspective. 

We need our minds to think, to make sense of, to understand. These reflections would mean nothing if we didn't have a mind to process them. We need our hearts to feel, to move, to stir. If these reflections were only directed to the intellect, they would have little appeal. Therefore, they are targeted to the heart as well. 

Now there is an important difference between the heart and the mind. While the heart is impulsive and impetuous, the mind is cold and calculating. There is nothing wrong with this — both functions are needed — only sometimes the mind gets in the way of the heart 

When the heart wants to do something, say something, or feel something, the mind says: "Stop! You can't do that! You can't say that. You can't feel that!" Have you noticed this happening with you? For instance, when you have felt this intense desire to do something fun ­— like skydiving — you really want to do it, but your mind tells you: "Are you nuts? If God wanted you to fly he'd have given you wings! Stay home and watch TV instead!"

Now Peter is mostly heart, and it often gets him into trouble, but just as often, it gets him on the road to high adventure! Consider, for example, the time when he was caught up in a storm with the other apostles and Jesus came to them walking on water. Peter was as terrified as the others when he saw what he imagined to be a ghost. However, a part of him marveled at what he saw — someone defying the physical laws of nature — and he wanted to defy them too. So, before his brain could kick in and tell him that it was impossible to walk on water, his mouth was already speaking for the heart: "Hey, Jesus, I wanna do that too!" 

What was the result? Peter walked on water! 

The 13th-century Persian poet Rumi once said, "Your heart knows the way; run in that direction!" It is good advice. (Well, a lot of the time!) So, listen to your heart. Especially if you hear Jesus calling you to follow him. And if your heart tells you to go sky-diving, fly!

May the Spirit be with you.

More in this category: « A Willing Heart Homecoming »