“Follow your heart,” someone says. That makes sense, considering all the other things that lead us around. But the advice has another angle: Consider how often we follow not our own heart, but someone else’s, living up—or down—to their desires and expectations for us. One young woman confided, “I was living out my mother’s dreams.” Once she took up her own, she was able to steer her life into smoother waters.
There is one heart we should pay attention to beside our own and that’s the heart of God. We attend to God’s heart, not out of duty, but because God’s deepest desires for us are our own, if only we realize it.
The fourth-century African Christian Augustine put the matter memorably: “Our heart is restless until it rests in you.” Why? He continues, “You have made us for yourself.”
Augustine knew what he was talking about, for he had followed other people’s hearts for much of his youth. His longing was never fulfilled until he rested in God.
What satisfies the human heart? We read the answer in the Beatitude: the righteousness of God.
May you find yourself deep in the heart of God.
Today we remember the visit of Mary to Elizabeth and Justin, martyr at Rome (circa 165). This message was adapted from the “Follow Your Heart—and Find the Heart of God” Bible study written by Martha E. Stortz that first appeared in the January/February 2008 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine. Subscribe to Gather for articles about faith, action, comfort and community.