“If the heart is like a compass, an erotic homing device, then we need to regularly calibrate our hearts, tuning them to be directed to our creator, our magnetic north.” -James K. A. Smith, You are What you Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit
Lately the Lord has been teaching me about how my heart works, using the metaphor of a compass. I’m realizing that when I feel restless or anxious, my heart tends to wander away from my Father’s love to other things that I think will satisfy me.
For example, sometimes I wander East, where I make people my idol. The ruler of this land is the fear of man which I allow to consume me. I give into perfectionism as I try to avoid criticism and judgement from others. It’s here that I feel anxiety and a need to prove myself.
Other times I wander West, to trivial distractions that I hope will satisfy me. This is the land of Netflix bingeing, over-eating, and excessive social media use. So often I use these things to numb my heart and to avoid dealing with pain and disappointment. However, instead of feeling satisfied, I usually feel even more restless than I did before. Moreover, I find myself greedily consuming God’s gifts rather than gratefully receiving them. And that never feels good.
In my worst moments, I wander South where I let the lies of the enemy define me. I question my worthiness and my identity, forgetting how God sees me. Instead I let the world and Satan’s lies tell me who I am. This is not a hopeful place to be.
However, everything changes when I turn back to true North. It’s here that I feel truly calm and at peace. I am safe and at home. I know that I belong and am accepted. And there is nothing to prove. I’m enough. I remember just how deeply loved I am by God and that changes everything.
Honestly, this past year I’ve wandered in some different directions. I wish that hadn’t happened. However, I’ve come out of this season with a deeper desire for intimacy with God because I now know what it feels like to live life without it.
I’m learning that regular time with the Lord is vital in re-orienting the desires of my heart. It’s such a simple truth that I’ve known for years. However, it’s so easy to forget. I sometimes come to points in my life where I need be reminded of the simple truths that I’ve always known.
God is my true North.
And it is so good to be with my Heavenly Father.