When I was a much younger person, I spent a lot of time trying to reason with people about the cross of Christ. After all it seemed to me that once we understand what it really means and why, there is no logical reason not to embrace the gift and take the thing that we have really wanted all along as our own. Life, peace, purpose, hope, love.
But that isn’t how it works, because this isn’t a knowledge problem.
Way back in the garden (so the story goes) we were “educated”. Now to be clear, knowledge is not a bad thing, after all in the story knowledge made us like God, and being like God isn’t a bad thing. Knowledge is a good thing, like the Law is a good thing. But knowledge, like the Law, can’t fix the problem (and we all know there is one) it just helps identify what the problem is.
God doesn’t ask us to open our minds, He asks us to do something much more difficult and dangerous, He asks us to open our hearts.
Having an open mind is no real danger. It just means we might learn something and as the story tells us we can always evaluate the good and the evil safely, with the appropriate level of detachment. Having an open heart? That’s something else altogether. An open heart can be hurt, disappointed, rejected or broken. We learn pretty early about the dangers of an open heart, and more importantly we learn how to close it.
It isn’t that God doesn’t want our minds or our bodies, indeed the commandment is to love Him with all of it. The heart, that’s the tough one. The heart is the thing we protect, the thing we don’t risk, where our treasure is. As it is written where your treasure is that is where your heart will be. Like our treasure we keep it safe.
Since He is God He probably knows this, and still our heart is the very thing He asks us to trust Him with. He wants us to open our heart.
I think the reason is we cannot love if we don’t.
This makes perfect sense since He IS love, and of course its the only way we can experience His life in and through us, and yes it is the thing we all want, the thing we cannot hoard. It is the thing that truly satisfies our soul.
It requires opening our heart.
Which requires hope, which requires faith.
But be of good cheer, it doesn’t require a lot, just a little. No more than a mustard seed, which is very small indeed.