You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. – Mark 12:30
Growing up, I always assumed that my mind was the truest, most essential part of me. My thoughts, my memories, my conscious awareness – that’s who I always believed I was.
Many of my most basic understandings changed when I became a Christian, but this set of assumptions about my mind were left mostly unchallenged. Without really considering it too deeply, I continued to apply the logic of “mind over matter” to my relationship with God.
I assumed that a truly deep prayer life would be one in which I was constantly thinking about God, turning my conscious mind towards God. I figured that the point of a prayerful life was to remain mentally vigilant and, whenever I realized that my mind had slipped from awareness of God, to once again orient my mind towards God.
I still think that orienting the mind towards God is an important component of prayer, but lately I’m becoming convinced that this is only one part of being in relationship with God. Have you ever experienced the sensation of waking up from sleep with the feeling that you had been praying in your dreams? Times when your conscious mind was focused on other things, yet your body, your whole being was still somehow, mysteriously connected to God? Sometimes, although I am not mentally thinking about God, I am still loving God with all my heart, soul and strength.
For me, getting too fixated on the mental component can be a stumbling block to a deeper relationship with God. If I make the mistake of thinking that only my mental posture matters, I may miss the ways God wants to be in relationship with me through my heart, my strength, my entire being.
- What are ways that you have shown love and devotion through parts of yourself other than your mind?
- How do we show love through our heart, soul and strength, as well as through our mind?
- Are we loving with everything we’ve got?