“Many things are trying to play upon the beautiful instrument of the heart.  Advertisers are constantly trying to pull on your heartstrings.  So is your boss.  The Devil is a master at manipulating the heart.  So are many people – though they would never admit that is what they are doing.” 

I made what felt like a fairly radical decision at the beginning of July.  I stopped social media.  At one point, I attributed the stress I felt after scrolling through a series of posts to unrelenting political battles.  So I hid a few profiles to avoid those.  My stress still persisted.  So I thought, maybe this is part of our human inclination to constantly compare ourselves?  I hid a few more profiles.  Eventually, the majority of what filled my feed was very neutral – recipes, ads, funny memes…but I was still on edge.  It was still just too much noise. 

Part of the focus of this chapter, ‘Walking with God,’ is learning to tune into your own heart.  Once Eldredge has set the stage that our hearts are GOOD, and that there is GLORY WITHIN THEM, it naturally follows that we should listen to them as we walk with God.  So how hard can that be?  To tune into myself and my unique calling?  Turns out, that can be pretty tough. 

Within a lot of different, unbalanced societies, there tends to be a part of the self that is overused, overworked.  If you are living in a war-torn county, your sense of self protection will be heightened.  Along with that, your discernment may be quite sharp.  But living in that imbalance for a long time can make you paranoid, jaded, stuck. 

For most of us, we live in an unbalanced society that constantly speaks to our consumer self.  And yes, that may lead to financial awareness and negotiating.  But are most of the decisions we make in a day purchasing decisions?  Perhaps so.  It tends to have a numbing effect.  It can become a safe place to escape, be entertained, anticipate… 

To tune into our hearts requires our attention.  Fully present and aware.  And attention can be a scarce commodity because frankly, if our dollars go where our attention goes, then it behooves advertisers to scream at us from every device and channel that they can.  It is hard to mobilize a distracted heart. 

(And believe me, I can only write about what I deeply know).  But the beautiful things is, when you choose to disconnect, in the quieter moments, there is peace.  Of all the fruits of the spirit, peace is the one that has seemed the most elusive to me.  So when I experience it, I know I’m going in the right direction. 

- Bekah Arias

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