A Willing Mind
". . . know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought."
-1 Chronicles 28:9 ESV
The title "A Willing Mind" came from my respect for the work of Charlotte Mason; her philosophy of education and her teaching on the will, and the name of the public house that Mr. Peggotty frequented in "David Copperfield"- The Willing Mind. I have been reading Mason for years, and I developed such an affection for David, that upon coming to then end of the book on my first reading, I promptly turned back to the first page, because I couldn't bear to be done with the characters that I had come to love so much. My understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ convinces me that the reason I am drawn to Mason, and find so much beauty in Dickens, is that they echo its truths: that human beings are complex, Divinely created beings that are only complete when they find rest in the Three Persons of the Godhead. The Trinitarian understanding of God, as revealed in the Bible, is a bottomless sea of information about the world we live in, ourselves, others, and the Creator who intelligently formed everything that we see, experience, and long for. He is the standard for everything good, and I am attempting to understand that more and more every day.
It was after I had chosen the name for this site, that my husband found the verse from 1 Chronicles. That sentence is part of the charge that David gives to his son, Solomon, as he is addressing the nation of Israel and handing over the plans for the building of the temple. It is a compelling picture of God's relationship with Israel, David, and Solomon. It also confirmed the inner notion that my work on this site was an act of obedience and that God would use it for His glory. So. . .
I am willing to serve Him. . . with my whole heart and a willing mind.
Willingness denotes action, and our will is the part of ourselves that decides what to do and whether or not it will get done. To be willing is to be ready, to be engaged and moving in a certain direction. Though the word "will" can be indicative of something in the future, I am beginning to see it a necessity for the present moment. Without willingness, there is no change - no openness to new ideas and learning, no growth in character or deepening in our personal relationships. Though virtue and godliness always come at a price, I want to value those things more than my own comfort. I also want to share them with others.
Welcome to the journey.
Life deals hard blows to all of us. Many of them feel impossible to recover from, and some injure us so deeply that we function for years without knowing the full extent of our woundedness. I have found a tension in myself between the desire to heal and move away from my deep pains, and a certain comfort with the emotional landscape that was created when trauma or circumstances occurred, and the coping mechanisms I have put into place to tend and enable the terrain to remain unchanged. Ultimately, the great hurts in life result from broken relationships and our failure to love each other the way our Creator designed us to be loved. Our pride also demands things from people and the world that those impostors of the Divine cannot fulfill, and we nurse our rejection until it becomes a bitterness that permeates our hearts.
Being willing to heal takes courage, and true courage takes risk. It requires an honest assessment of what it is moving towards, and the fortitude to move forward despite further pain and suffering. It counts the cost and pays the price. With the amount of sin on this planet, none of us moves through life unscathed by its effect. It is behind us, all around us, in us, and before us. Each one of us has a battle to fight for the gift of healing. If we are in Christ, it is a battle that we never have to fight alone, but we must take courage and enter into it.