I've been facing a lot of pressure lately. Get this done, get that done, stress stress stress, this really matters, this is important, you can't let this ball drop, woop you almost lost that one. Oh and this other thing over here is screaming like there's no tomorrow. And the thing that hit me, in the middle of all this mayhem, the thing that stopped me dead in my tracks, was this question...welling up like a growl from the pit of my soul...
Who are you becoming under all this pressure?
Immediately, I knew the answer. I was becoming Sick. I was becoming Always Tired. I was becoming Too Busy, and No Time to Relax. I was becoming Unalive, a functional numbskull who regularly chose to serve deadlines more than Life. I was becoming Someone I Didn't Like.
It was a wake up call--a summoning to step to my own bigger life. Clearly, I have some reclaiming to do. So I've been learning about living from the heart. Not living from the emotions. Not living from the logical, reasonable or socially preferred perspectives on life. Not living in perpetual submission to other people's expectations, or (dare I say it) even their needs. But living from heart and Spirit--the essence of what is most true and real about who God made me to be in the world, and how he made me to move through it.
"You cannot be the person God meant you to be," writes John Eldredge, "and you cannot live the life he meant you to live, unless you live from the heart."
My new question, more specific to the circumstances I swim in these days, is this: What is it to live from your heart when the pressure is on?
I'm learning that it's when we're under pressure that living from the heart truly becomes an outrageously radical and "illogical" act. It's the choice to honor what's life-giving while the urgent screams bloody murder just beyond the door. It's the habit of keeping your eyes riveted on What Really Matters In This Moment, regardless of how many Distractions are trying to steal your attention away. For me, it means remaining Unhurried and At Peace, even when dozens of voices around me (and within me) are clamoring for me to hurry up, go faster, do it sooner, do it now. It means staying connected to God (my only true Audience), and playing...yes, playing...for his delight, and his alone.
God said it best: "Above all else, guard your heart, for from it flows the wellspring of life."