The brain is a mysterious thing. God gave humans a unique brain. Unlike the brains of other living creatures, our brains allow us to use reason and logic, and give us free will. We have dominion over all of the other animals because God granted us a superior brain. (Genesis 1:26)
Logic and reason are powerful tools that we use in our everyday lives. But how we use them is of utmost importance, as I found out about six years ago...
One late summer day when my daughter was six years old my husband called me with some news. The excitement in his voice was undeniable. He shared with me that he had just signed her up for little league football cheerleading. "It will be so fun for her! And she'll look so cute in that cheerleader uniform!" he exclaimed. The eagerness in his voice practically jumped through the phone. "She CAN do this!" he practically yelled.
I was driving at the time and it was all I could do not to pull the car to the side of the road and have a panic attack.
"Cheerleading?!? How in the world do you think she is going to be able to learn all those cheers? Not to mention adding the movements and cute dances to the equation!?!"
My mind inwardly screamed in outrage at the lack of logic and reason that he had exhibited when signing her up for this mistake. I was practically in tears just thinking about how it was all going to play out. Just a year earlier, Sara Ashley had been diagnosed with an expressive language disability. Word-finding and memorization were her biggest weaknesses. Surely this was setting her up for complete failure!
But my husband would not be swayed. "We need to let her give it a try," he insisted. Despite my strong reservations, I conceded.
Cheerleading started in early August. The practices were hot and long. The coach was a former professional cheerleader with little tolerance for the antics of six year old girls. But as the practices progressed and I watched my daughter, I was amazed. Although she did have some trouble remembering the words to the cheers, she learned the routines with ease. She blended seamlessly with the squad and had a great season of cheerleading! My husband was every bit the proud daddy! And, despite my initial reservations, I was a very proud mama too.
The abilities of my daughter in this circumstance defy all logic and reason. The previous school year, she had been unable to learn her complete alphabet and hadn't been able to count past eleven. How was it possible that she was successfully performing cheers and dance routines?
Logic and reason are certainly gifts from God. But, as humans, we are still not capable of fully understanding what God can and will do in our lives if we give Him the chance. If we allow logic and reason to dictate our willingness to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we are not using these gifts the way God intended. And, as my husband taught me, if we use them to limit our potential or the potential of those around us, we are misusing them altogether.
When Joshua walked around Jericho seven times blowing his trumpets in order to overtake the city, was he using logic and reason? When the young and small David declared that he would fight the giant Goliath and even shed the armor provided to him by Saul, what kind of logic was that? When Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on the water towards Jesus, there was no reason or logic involved. These men were not making their decisions based on wordly logic. They were acting in faith and obedience to God and their heart's desire to follow Him.
Recently a friend told me about her five year old son's learning disability. Somehow his brain has associated letters with numbers. If asked what the letter "F" is, he taps his leg six times (as F is the sixth letter in the alphabet) and comes up with the answer "6." The logic of his brain is amazing and interesting to me. He is sure to be magnificently creative! But I am certain that it is very frustrating to his mother at this point. Trying to teach him to read has become a task akin to beating her head against a brick wall. Her aspirations for his future are limited to the abilities that she can currently see. She is not alone. I have heard this from the parents of many LD kids.
Looking back now at my own daughter at the age of five I can totally relate. My hopes for her were also limited and I was very fearful of what her future would hold. When we are faced with a brain that defies the logic and reason that we can understand, it scares us. We long for our children to succeed and to thrive in this world that operates by a strict standard of norms. But as I look at my daughter now, and all that she has overcome, I can speak with authority when I say that we must reach beyond our own comfort of human logic and reason to allow our children the opportunities to reach their full potential. The only way we can do this is to listen to God's promptings and, with His guidance, step out in faith.
God's will for our lives is to look to Him for direction. His love for us is enough to give us peace in our circumstances, whether they make worldly sense or not. Our decisions should not be based solely on logic and reason, but on our heart's desire to follow Him.
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Ephesians 3:20 The Message