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A few weeks ago, I glanced at my smart watch to discover it was showing my resting heart rate as 48 beats per minute. I went online and discovered that for my age, this low heart rate is associated with elite athletes!

As a young person, athleticism was not what you associated with me, and even now I would rather read a book than play touch football. But still, thousands of kilometres of bike riding over the last few years must have persuaded my heart that it needs to get in shape.

The human heart is a marvellous organ that faithfully pumps blood around the body without a pause every second of our lives. It automatically adjusts to the amount of work or exercise that we are doing, sending oxygen and food to every cell of our body.

The physical heart is so critical to human living that we use it as a metaphor for our deeply held values and beliefs. While, for most people, the physical heart is a reliable and trustworthy organ, the spiritual heart is quite the opposite.

People often say “Follow your heart”, but the Bible warns us that “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick.” No doubt Adolf Hitler followed his heart, with disastrous results for millions of people and for the whole world.

We are born into a world that is corrupted, and we quickly learn to live by that standard. Not even the most “saintly” or “righteous” of people are truly perfect. We all have our moments, days or years where we are not the people we would like to be.

Christians speak of being “born again”, which basically means allowing God to give us a new heart that is untouched by sin. To be born again means to recognise that I am a sinner, that I have offended God and I need forgiveness. From that place, I can ask God to cleanse my spirit and rule my life.

If you need a new heart, or a new start with God, say that sorry prayer to God right now.

Reach out to a church, and ask them to help you start in this journey of faith.