Someone wise once said: “The longest journey you will ever take is the 18 inches from your head to your heart.” Reason, logic, and other cognitive functions are necessary for daily life. Decision making and organizational skills help me prioritize what matters most, so I’m grateful that God gave me a mind. But I also know reason and logic’s potential to morph from protective guardians to restrictive blockades.
When I put myself in the shoes of Joseph’s brothers, I realize how quickly I forget my identity as a child of Israel, as someone who belongs to God’s household, whether or not I wear a colorful robe. Choosing to compare myself to Jacob’s chosen son means choosing a life of judgment, silence, and isolation, even though I haven’t left home. It doesn’t take much for Joseph’s brothers to detach their hearts from God’s family and allow their minds to form hateful narratives and hurtful schemes.
Apart from a life of prayer, reason and logic can only take me so far. When I commune with God, I remember that life doesn’t always make sense, that I’m not in control despite my strong-willed efforts, and that I’m not entitled to anything in this life. Contemplation and prayer have ways to alleviate the fixations in my over-analyzing mind and open the pathways to compassion and understanding. This stance does not come naturally. But with enough time and patience, I discover how God softens some of my harsh edges.
What helps me remember that reason and logic are meant to serve my relationship with God and others rather than create barriers that restrict those relationships?
God of wisdom and understanding, grant me the grace to be full of both mind and heart today. Amen.