Your brain is the most amazing thing ever created. It’s a three-pound mass of tissue that contains more than 100 billion neurons, with each of those connecting to about 10,000 other neurons. In other words, your brain is like a gigantic electrical superhighway – yet it operates on less power than it takes to run a refrigerator light bulb.
Your brain can simultaneously be working a math problem, watching a TV program and listening to music while monitoring your heartbeat and breathing patterns, sending messages to various parts of your body, while at the same time you are texting your friend that you have nothing to do.
The mind is really an amazing thing, which is why I’ve always been attracted to something Jesus said in Matthew 22. He said: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Notice that last part: we should love God with our minds.
There’s an important implication of this truth: Every time you use your mind it is an act of worship. Worship doesn’t only take place on Sunday morning, though one of the best places we do worship is when we gather with other believers and praise God and learn about Him. But that’s not the only place we worship.
One of the most amazing things Jesus ever said is this: Every time you use your mind it is an act of worship. He said that as sons and daughters of God, we are commissioned to give ourselves fully in devotion to Him – all of us, body, soul, and even our minds. In fact, I may go so far as to say that the most important one of those three is the mind, because the way you think determines the way you live. If your mind belongs to God, all of you belongs to God.
The most important thing our Anderson University students can do while they are here is to love God with their minds. That’s one of the reasons it is so good to go to school at a place like AU, that has a commitment to being a Christian university. Because here you can stretch your mind in a place that recognizes that all truth is God’s truth, and isn’t afraid to tell you that.
At a Christ-centered university we believe in the integration of faith and learning – that as you learn, you do so within a context shaped by a Christian worldview, a way of thinking that recognizes all truth is God’s truth. It means students work with gifted scholars who teach out of their own Christian worldview, and who can help you see the truths of each discipline impacted by a lively and engaging faith. It provides a unifying framework within which we see that mind and heart and soul are not separate areas but are linked by a Creator who is Lord of all three. We want you to learn to think Christianly – to think out of a worldview shaped by a lively faith and a commitment to truth.
We think because God has given us minds to use and a motivation to use them. It all goes back to what Jesus said in what He called “the Greatest Commandment”: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” That’s not only a commandment to us; it’s a description for how you can have a life that matters.
This summer the Olympics return to London. One of the great Olympic champions of the past was Eric Liddell, the son of British missionaries who was immortalized in the movie Chariots of Fire. He competed for Scotland, but he was born and died in China.
At the 1924 Olympics in Paris, he refused to run in the 100 meter, his best event, because the qualifying heat was on Sunday. Instead he ran in the 400 meter race, and won the gold medal while breaking the world record. Eric Liddle loved to run. He once told his sister, “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.”
The same God who gave Eric Liddle the ability to run gave you the ability to think. When you use your mind, you can feel God’s pleasure. Every time you use your mind it is an act of worship.
So put your mind to work, and feel God’s pleasure.
This article originally appeared in the Anderson Independent-Mail on January 21, 2012.