To reach the head of someone is to reach them pre-heart – their heart remains, unconvinced. Yet, to reach their head is a massive task and their very humanity will struggle tooth and nail against it.
We are maddening creatures, truly we are. Ask any parent who forever prays they might ‘get through’ to their child. Or ask the employer who must harp and harp and harp for their employees to work safely. Finally, there’s that person we know who’s still searching spiritually—they take years of investigating ‘faith’ and are still no closer to committing.
These are insane situations—but they are just as equally ‘us’ as anything. We’re all prone to stubbornness; it just depends on the issue. Yet, some are more stubborn than others.
And, still again, we will only convince ourselves!—God revealing same to us, changing our thinking.
- The rebellious child.
- The drug addict.
- The nonchalant employee.
- The confused spiritual/God-searcher.
All of these above have their issues. They staunchly hold values and beliefs—as we should—but these against the prevailing wisdom of those who know better.
We must reach their heads on an intellectual level before we can hope to penetrate their hearts. (And from ‘head to heart’ alone can take years!) But getting into someone’s psyche is an inside job, literally. We cannot do it apart from our tacit influence. And then we add time and prayer to that mix, hoping that God will tip a miracle of reason into the mind of the afflicted.
The main point is it’s insane to expect to change people, especially people who cannot yet decide, or who haven’t discovered, how to change themselves, or that that’s even needed.
Do we see here that we are practicing insanity by not understanding and accepting the insanity of humanity’s nature?
Others’ Transformation is Beyond Us
Transformation truly is a God-blessed reality and truly only God can do it, through a willingly compliant individual.
And, still, we’re expected to play our inferred part.
Parent/teacher/employer/spiritual adviser, knowing this above surely now infuses us with patience—we do not have the sort of control we thought we might have. We also do not have the sort of responsibility for others’ transformation that we often pressure ourselves with.
This is not a cop-out; it’s an important acceptance that aligns us with others’ genuine plight.
This should help relieve the pressure. Our role is defined. We are patient because we know how much we and they are relying on God.
And this is peace for us; a pure, God-intended peace.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.