I love riddles.  I really like to challenge my mind to come up with creative solutions to problems.  It is very exciting for me to be able to figure things out that are not always obvious.  To give you some examples, here are a few of my favorites:

1. You are on the bank of a river with a fox, a chicken, and a basket of corn.  You have to get across the river, and your boat is so small that you can only take one item across the river at a time.  If you leave the chicken and the fox together, the fox will eat the chicken.  If you leave the chicken with the corn, you will return to a well-fed chicken.  How can you get all three across safely without anything being eaten?  (Note:  Keep in mind that you cannot leave the items that may eat each other together on the opposite side of the river, either.)

2.  You are locked in a room with two computers and two doors.  One door leads to life, and one door leads to death.  One computer always tells the truth, and one computer always lies.  You can ask one of the computers one question about how to get out alive.  How do you get out? (Note: Neither door is marked in any way.  Neither computer is marked in any way)

There.  If you get both of those without having heard them before, I’ll buy you a Coke at McDonalds.  Seriously, for some reason fountain Cokes at McDonalds are on another level. 

When asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus replied that you should ”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 NIV)  Of course.  Loving and serving God is what we are created to do.  So it is fitting that this is the greatest commandment.

For the most part, I believe we are pretty darn good at giving our hearts and souls to God.  Serving Him feeds our souls and our hearts often long for His presence.  And if our hearts and souls are on board, it is fitting that we will use all of our strength to do what is asked of us.

However, I am not convinced that we completely understand what it means to love God with our minds.  Somehow there is this massive disconnect between what we feel and what we think, and I think we often give God our feelings but keep our thoughts for ourselves.  Some people love reading fiction, others invest their minds in technology, and some are fascinated with current events or politics.  Everybody has a hobby or an interest that they spend their time researching, thinking about, and trying to stay up to date on the latest trends.

So if we are flooding our minds with an endless sea of information (thanks to Al Gore and the internet), how are we supposed to love God with all of our minds?  How are we supposed to glorify Him with our private thoughts and the knowledge that we seek?  Think about all of the time you spend on your hobbies and interests.  Think about how excited you got when you thought you solved one of the riddles above.  What if we applied that level of excitement and time commitment to getting closer to God on a cognitive level?

How many times did you put down The Hunger Games to pick up a book on discipleship?  Have you spent any time lately pondering the different approaches of Peter and Paul, or are you still trying to figure how what happened at the end of LOST?  Do you usually spend your free time soaking in the Word, or do you often find yourself navigating the gossip-filled terrain of Facebook?

I believe the primary problem with loving God with our minds is that it would entail loving Him with our time as well.  We thrive on the passionate hearts that we commit to ministry.  Our souls flourish in the moments of intimate worship.  But when we are “off the clock” for our spiritual commitments, we tend to put all of our time and effort toward the things that stimulate our minds in other ways.  That’s our time, so we do what we want to do.

Where you choose to put your time is where your mind will end up as well.  So if we truly want to love God with all of our minds, we need to spend our time reading about how to get closer to Him, thinking about how the scriptures apply to our everyday lives, talking with other believers about our opinions and experiences with Him, and seeking new ways to love Him with our hearts, souls, and strength.

How have you loved God with your mind lately?

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