Twelve Inches


My mind often wanders during the sermon at church. Today, I found myself thinking about another sermon I’d heard, one that prompted a post that was lost in draft form.

“The longest journey a man must take is the twelve inches between his head and his heart”.

This was the quote that our former pastor made during the aforementioned prior Sunday sermon. Now, I’ve seen this written as six inches (very tiny person, obviously) and eighteen inches (that is one long neck), but you get the idea. He was talking about what we think versus what we feel with respect to God and faith and belief, and as usual, my mind went another direction.

(Sorry, Father Raymond.)

My wandering brain led me to thoughts about priorities. About what we THINK is important versus what our heart feels is important. How so many of us do what we think we NEED to do even though it may feel empty, or how we don’t follow a dream because it feels impractical, or God forbid, IRRESPONSIBLE.

“If you major in art, you’ll never get a job.”

“It’s the wrong time to take that trip/change jobs/have a baby.”

“I hate this job, but it pays so well – what if the next one is just as awful?”

Why is that we can talk ourselves out of the things that are closest to our heart?

Why is it that, when I think about priorities, I generally put myself last? (Which is why I find myself writing in the wee hours of the evening/morning, in dire need of sleep and or coffee, by the way.)

As a parent, I’m discovering that I have to work harder to balance the practical with the fanciful.

When my little one says she wants to be a princess, or a veterinarian – maybe even a princess veterinarian when she grows up, I will not be the one to dash those dreams. We all need dreams.

If my son talks about playing soccer in college – did I mention he is TEN? – I don’t refute the possibility. I say “work hard, study hard”, because I know those plans could change in a heartbeat, but I want them to change on his terms, because a new dream has taken their place, not because of my naysayings.

I don’t want to be the one to block that twelve-inch journey.


What about you?

Are you the dreamer, or the practical one?


  1. love love LOVE this! my parents were so amazing at telling me to live my dream and STILL I made some (not all) choices out of fear. not I’m at a place where I am trying to live my fullest and bravest life so it inspires my son. thanks for the reminder as sometimes on a rainy Monday morning with a houseful of chores to do, it’s hard to remember to work the dream, too. 🙂 hope your week is awesome, I love your blog!

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