Keep Your Heart and Mind Open
- Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Lee Edward Travis was the greatest human being I ever met. Dr. Travis, the Dean of the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Seminary where I taught for many years, constantly impressed me with his zeal for learning, openness to fresh insights, and receptiveness to new ways of doing things. I doubt anyone ever heard him say, "We've always done it this way" or "We can't do that-it's never been done!"
In fact, when he was in his early nineties, Dr. Travis's mind and heart remained wide open to new understandings and "new truths." Even in that advanced age, he delighted in mastering some new skill or studying an unexplored subject. He never allowed his mind to grow stagnant.
If we want to manage the problems and challenges of life-and manage them exceedingly well-we will make sure our hearts and minds are open every day. Since the secret of great living always starts with our getting into a right relationship with God, we will especially open ourselves to what he wants us to learn about his complex universe.
When we think that we have developed a full understanding of something, we risk shutting ourselves off from a new aspect or angle that might enrich our understanding. If we believe that we have "all the truth," we may arrogantly proceed through our lives in the face of facts that would change our lives considerably.
When I am trying to assess people's emotional health, I always consider how open they are to growth and change. If I determine that their defenses have developed thick walls around them-walls designed for protection that will likely cause stagnation-I know immediately that their primary relationships are bound to suffer.
The future belongs to the people who stay open. Of all our human resources, the most precious is the desire to improve. The writer of Proverbs says it well: "The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them." (18:15)
It all starts with getting ourselves into an intimate, personal relationship with the one true God who knows us far better than we know ourselves, loves us far more freely than we could ever imagine, and always has new things to show us and teach us. It is this relationship and this openness that will provide the stimulation and excitement that make every day more rewarding.
Taken from God Said It, Don't Sweat It by Neil Clark Warren.
They are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds against him, and they cannot understand his ways. -- Ephesians 4:18
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