“The heart is central.  That we would even need to be reminded of this only shows how far we have fallen from the life we were meant to live – or how powerful the spell has been.  The subject of the heart is addressed in the Bible more than any other topic – more than works or service, more than belief or obedience, more than money, and even more than worship.”  - Chapter 3, Waking the Dead

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” 
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

“It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” – Mahatma Gandhi

 I have a confession to make and it probably won’t make much logical sense.  Here goes:  I don’t want to win the lottery.  I know that if I tell most people that (and I have) they will either laugh or look very confused.  So I’ve learned to stop saying it.  But while I did, I was always asked, “Well, WHY NOT??”  And I usually responded that I believed in the lottery curse, and would send them to google that if they hadn’t heard of it.  Superstition actually seemed more rational than the truth. 

But the truth of it is, I worry that an influx of income on that scale would crowd out the natural order and authenticity of my world.  Sure, there are the practical issues of how you will spend your time if you’re not working.  And yes, I could fill the time, but what would that teach my children about the value of education and hard work?  We tend to only truly enjoy what we’ve rightfully earned. 

It would definitely increase the speed on my pace of life, which already feels maxed out.  The busyness would increase, the decision-making, the second-guessing…

What would happen to my friendships?  If people asked for financial help, I would want to help them….but I would always wonder if they were really my friend to begin with.  Would I be reduced to a mere dollar sign; a strategic alignment? 

What I fear most is that this fortune would require a trade:  money instead of heart.  It is easy, in our modern age, to monetize and mass-produce anything we want.  We can even get it delivered to our house, often with free shipping!  We can start watching any movie we want with only a few clicks.  But are any of your favorite memories about your fastest download speed?  The greatest deal you ever got?  Of course not!  They are all about the people and the activities that you love.  This chapter focuses on the centrality of the heart, and challenges the reader to actually stop reading and make a list of everything you love (without priority, second-guessing or editing).  I encourage you to actually do this.  If nothing else, you can’t help but smile. 

But more importantly, it focuses your attention on what matters most to you, and in that list, you’ll see parts of God’s purpose for your life.  If we are to “love God and love others,” then loving those people on your list is part of your purpose.  If you wrote how much you love to care for children, or play music or help people with their problems – there is your ministry.  And the amazing thing about working from your heart is that no one has to follow up with you and remind you to do it.  When it is a labor of love, you just do it, from the pure joy you get from being fully alive in that moment.  

- Bekah Arias