Matters of the Heart

2019-07-04T09:53:35-07:00 May 26th, 2017|Tags: , , , |

Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.

Last week was full of unplanned excitement. Mary and I spent almost two days at hospitals while lots of medical professionals tried to figure out why my heart was galloping at 135 beats per minute. For context, my resting heart rate for years was 30 beats per minute and, following the implantation of a cardiac pacemaker five years ago, 40 beats per minute. I hardly ever measure blood pressure or heart rate anymore but did earlier in the week, since I was feeling a little off. The upshot was my hospital adventure.

It all worked out well. The cardiologists concluded my pacemaker was misbehaving and altered the programming. My heart immediately reverted to a resting pulse around 40. While I am happy to have this little distraction in the rear view mirror, it does give me pause regarding our extreme dependence on computing devices (think autonomous vehicles)!

Events like the foregoing remind us that our lives depend upon a properly functioning heart. Typically, we are unaware of it until it acts up. If we assume for a moment that my average heart rate throughout the day is 50 beats per minute, the number of beats per year is 26,280,000. That is a lot of behind the scene activity!

Our spiritual heart is more central to human existence than our physical one.

In the Christian worldview, our spiritual heart is even more central to human existence than our physical one, since it affects both our response to the circumstances of life as well as our ultimate destiny after we die. The Bible declares that our spiritual heart comes alive and the Spirit of God comes to dwell within us when we commit ourselves to Jesus.

Although I do not believe she was thinking of my spiritual heart per se, one veteran nurse made the following observation (paraphrased), “In this unit, we deal with senior executives all the time and you are the only one I have ever met who is happy!” She concluded that my attitude was due in part to my having a great wife. I agreed and added that the other important factor was our faith. We had a wonderful discussion with her and hope to reconnect in the future. Full disclosure: In my imperfection, I sometimes allow negative emotions to govern my response to difficult circumstances!

The truth is that I was experiencing the peace of God in the moment. In my opinion, this nurse was simply reacting to God’s Spirit in me. The Bible captures the connection between our behaviour and our spiritual heart as follows.

“…What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (Luke 6:45 (b), NLT)

Throughout this ordeal, members of the two LeaderImpact groups I attend encouraged and prayed for me, for which I am most grateful. This is one of the many benefits of belonging to one of our professional peer groups.

Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.