Heart and Head …
This week I had the opportunity hear Ravi Zacharias speak at Wilson Hall. A brilliant man, he has lectured all over the world in places like Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard, making the logical case for Christian faith.
A young man in the audience asked the question, “How do I know Jesus instead of simply know about him?” A very profound question, which strikes at the heart of what it means to follow Jesus. Knowledge about Jesus is not the same as knowing Jesus.
Dr. Zacharias gave an insightful response, urging the young man to read the scriptures, pray, and read biographies of great followers of Jesus. Then, almost as an afterthought, he said, “The longest journey for thought is the journey from the head to the heart.” Profound.
What we think matters. But until what we think changes our hearts, our thoughts are sterile and lifeless. Throughout 40 Days of Community we’ve talked about one of Jesus’ most challenging statements: “By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:35).” People will know we are followers of Jesus not by how we worship, or by our theology, but by our love for one another.
Hanging on the wall in my office is quote from an old country preacher, Sam Durrance. Sam was distant relative and close neighbor to my family. He did not speak at Oxford, Cambridge, or Harvard, but in places like Popash, Ft. Green, and Mt. Pisgah.
Before my cousin Tiny went off to study for the ministry, Sam pulled him aside and told him, “Keep the Lord in your heart, and not in your head, and you will do alright. Now if you don’t, you’d be better off if someone knocked you in the head and threw you under a bunch of palmettos, because you won’t be no good to no body.” That’s the quote that hangs on my wall.
Sam’s home spun wisdom and Dr. Zacharias words of counsel are really the same. Funny how a scholar and a country preacher can find the same truth. What you think is important. Having a relationship with Jesus that changes how you live – that’s eternal.