he Collegiate Letter   

The Collegiate Letter The Gift of the Mind

By Dave Breese

E = mc2. This seems like a set of simple, innocent letters and numbers. Surely that would have been the impression of everyone had they seen this formula written with a stubby pencil in the hands of a sixteen-year-old boy. This boy, in the minds of his teachers, was often thought of as being slow. It turned out that this was because of his super concentration on whatever it was before him. By the time this teenage boy was twenty-five he wrote E = mc2 with firmness and conviction. The boy was Albert Einstein and the equation is the core value of Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

The equation means that energy (E) is equal to the mass of a given entity multiplied by the speed of light squared. In that the speed of light is one hundred eighty-six thousand miles per second, the equation means that there is a fantastic amount of energy in almost everything. E = mc2 gave the world a new understanding of the reality of the nuclear universe. It also gave the world the atomic bomb which in turn produced the ashes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That fantastic amount of energy which could be released still stands like a giant colossus over the nations of the world.

But the point in mentioning this is that we may remind ourselves of the undeniable and indescribable potential of the human mind. I refer particularly to the young human mind, illustrated by that of Albert Einstein.

The World of the Mind
There is within that youthful mind the ability to dream dreams, to understand great issues and even to build castles in the air. The world does not yet know of the capacities of the mind which lives within you and me—especially you. The world of the mind is infinitely greater than the world of the body. The young mind can conceive of distances which are a thousand times further than the human hand and arm can reach. Therefore, about everything in life we ought often to say, “There's more!”

Believe me, I am not speaking of mere mentalism or simply unbridled imagination. We know that there is much more. One astronomer examined with a powerful telescope a segment of the universe which would be covered by a grain of sand held at arm's length. He has recorded that there are at least 300 billion more galaxies than we previously thought, each one with 100 billion solar systems within it. Yes, there is so much more that our mental capacity is pushed beyond what previous imaginations have ever demanded.

With these reports of the hitherto unsuspected dimensions of the universe, we are tempted to feel even smaller in the face of it all. In fact, some who labor at science are quick to state that man is even more a tiny, inconsequential creature in an infinitely large universe. Tiny, yes. But, inconsequential, no, a thousand times no! How do we know that man is not inconsequential? We know this not merely by looking at the capabilities of the human being. Rather, we know this because the Bible says that man was made in the image of God. Yes, indeed, there is something about man that deeply resembles the celestial Person who made all of the universe in the first place. By His Word we know that you and I are better than the sun, the moon, the stars. We are of more value than the hills and the mountains of earth and the galaxies of the universe. Whatever, therefore, may be the negative thoughts which come from small minds, it is true. The greatness of man is not to be denied.

We know also that we were created for a great purpose. The Bible says that man was made to have dominion over the works of God and that all things have been put under his feet (Ps. 8:6).

The Wreckage of Humanity
But wait, something is wrong. When we think of the fantastic dimensions of humanity, we wonder why we appear to be so blundering, limited, weak and incapable today. We notice that after these awesome things are said about man, he can be crippled by a falling tree or killed by a stray bullet. The fragile mechanism of his human life need only to pause for a moment and he is gone. When life is done we fade like a leaf. How different this is from the promise of our existence. How unlike the promise made by God that “all things are ours.” Something is wrong and we wonder what that might be.

For some reason, a bright young man, filled with potential, ends up a derelict in the gutter. For some reason, a virtuous young lady becomes a slave of lecherous men and a captive of debilitating drugs. Why is this? What are we seeking? The answer is that we do not see true humanity in this world, but rather the wreckage of humanity. We can still dream of stars and starlike things, but we cannot disengage ourselves from “the bondage of corruption” in this world. There is something wrong with humanity. What might that be? We find before us an answer which we cannot avoid as we look into what God has said about us. The Bible says, “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12). So, a terrible virus has entered into the world, into the bloodstream of humanity. Our dreadful limitations are, therefore, explained when we see that sin has entered into our lives, leaving the terrible repository of death in its wake. What we see then in our lives and the lives of others is not the real thing of humanity, but the damaged version.

Yes, when we see the twisted wreckage of what used to be an airplane strewn on a field, we wonder. The wreckage tells just a bit of the sublime craft that it used to be and suggests what might have been. The crash, however, has changed everything.

The same is true about humanity. The near-sublime father and mother of the human race once ruled in a beautiful garden and were masters of all which they surveyed. Foolishly, however, they chose to be disobedient to the God who had made their lives possible. This disobedience became the terrible source of the present wreckage of humanity. As sublime as some individual persons may be, that sublimity is but the pale shadow of a near-divine past.

Will men and women ever operate on the level of the sublime again? The answer is yes, some will. Indeed, the greatest news in all of history is that forgiveness and cleansing from sin and consequent life everlasting is offered to every person in the world. The requirement is a simple but profound one—faith in Jesus Christ. When we believe that Jesus Christ is God and that He gave Himself for our sins, that is the faith that brings everlasting life. In that instant of faith, we are made new and we join the new creation consisting of every person who has been born again. It is those who have everlasting life and eternal hope while still living in this world. This world is called by some (correctly) a veil of tears. Happily, when we are saved by faith in Christ, we are in this world but no longer of this world. It is a great thing to be a Christian—a member of the new creation.

Now, there is a great difference in life. When we have come to know Christ, we can then talk with genuine surety about the possibilities of life. How so? This is so because we now, being Christians, have a promise going for us. It says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). This astonishing promise means that everything in life will conspire in your favor when you belong to the Lord. Within that promise is a set of possibilities that simply cannot be exhausted. This is so amazingly true that Jesus Himself said, “All things are possible to him that believes” (Mk. 9:23). So it is that when we get things straight with God we are faced with an absolutely marvelous set of human possibilities.

Find Your Gifts
Those possibilities really begin to happen when we realize that each one of us is possessed of a talent, an ability, a special gift. What is that gift with you? To discover this and then to build a life around that ability is a wonderful thing indeed.…

  1. Do you sing? There is many an audience then that is waiting for your golden voice and is ready to respond with appreciation, applause and maybe even financial support. To sing well is a great talent.

  2. Do you speak? Remember that words fitly spoken are like apples of silver in baskets of gold. The Bible says, “By your words you shall be justified” (Matt.12:37). To speak well about something is one of life's greatest abilities.

  3. Can you organize? Many people are ready to labor but they don't know what to do. Someone must tell them what is the task and how to accomplish it. Great causes are lost for want of organization—such as yours.

  4. Are you creative? If so, remember there are pictures to be painted, poetry to be written, sculpture to be carved and structures to be designed. Creative people keep this world from dying of boredom and are most necessary. If you are one of them, thank God and get out the brushes.

  5. Are you mathematical? If you can handle advanced algebra and calculus, you are a necessary person. We will go nowhere without knowing the sine and cosine and tangent of what we are doing.

  6. Are you economic? The money of many people goes to waste for want of knowledge that you could impart. Many foolish people end up poor who might have been rich if they had realized what money is and what to do with it.

  7. Are you political? People are needed to govern the rest of us who are themselves honest, principled, energetic and truly concerned with people. This is hardly a universal trait of today's politics, but your talent might be used to make it different, even better.

Each one of us must ask the question, “Do I really want to help and what can I do the best?” Start with a task at hand and prepare for the next one. Students who enjoy both the guidance of God and possess some sanctified common sense are needed and can go far in this life. Do not forget, however, that not one of us is smart enough to entirely manage the affairs of this life. We need divine guidance in order to fulfill the purpose for which God put us in this world. I pray for you that divine guidance and a good mind will be the characteristics of your life.

The True World View
One of the things we all must have to handle life correctly is a world view. There is only one true world view and to know what that is is to be able to live correctly. Because of this, I am offering a simple presentation of The True World View and will send it along with my compliments. Take the time to read it and see what corrections need then to apply. If you would like extra copies of this paper, take the time to write and I will see that you get them. The difference between a purposeful person and one who is leaderless and wandering is the presence of a world view and the conviction to follow, therefore, the correct course.

I am also offering you the paperback book Seven Reasons Why You Can Trust The Bible by Erwin W. Lutzer. This book can help you discover the Bible for the first time and give you—and every person who wants to trust God—compelling reasons to explore and trust the Bible: logical, historical, prophetic, Christ-centered, scientific, providential and personal. I'll be happy to send you a copy of this book with my compliments as well. Write or call 800-777-8806.

Let me wish you well once again in these days of your student life. A very exciting world is breaking upon you and, with the help of God, you can rise to the great occasions that are coming up in your life. Please remember that I and my wife, Carol, will be praying for you. May the days to come be filled with delight for you and develop into a grand life to be lived in the fulfillment of heaven's purposes. All the best!