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Attempts to illuminate our brief mortal existence

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

On Truth

Truth, goodness, and beauty.  Ideally, my life is dedicated to these, specifically as they are revealed in the person, life, and ministry of Jesus Christ.  Ideally.  But here's the truth about my relationship with Truth: I want to love the truth, but really I just love being comfortable.  I like to read things that reinforce what I already believe.  I like to hang out with people who believe what I do.  I like to find reasons that the beliefs of those with whom I am hanging out could be true.  I like being in the group that's rocking the boat a bit, but I really don't want to rock the boat all by myself.  As we all know, truth doesn't work this way.  

I've always known this, of course, but I began to discover it experientially as my life became more fragmented, and different parts of it started happening among diverse groups of people.  For most of the past two years, I worked with one group of people, went to church and hung out socially with a second group of people, went to school (some of the time) with a third group of people, kept in touch long distance with the fourth, fifth, and sixth groups of people, and was related to approximately the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth  groups of people.  Trying to cobble together a coherent set of beliefs by believing what is important in each of these groups is like trying to cram a spider monkey into a washing machine.  It doesn't work, and ultimately will not end well for the spider monkey.  But I tried.  

I tried to hang on to the bits of where I came from that seemed to be the most important to the people there, while simultaneously learning which bits of the new groups seemed to be the most important.  But while I was trying to be agreeable to people on both ends, there were real changes happening.  I'm a different person than I was two years ago.  The problem is that sometimes it's been hard to realize those changes, what with all the spider monkey limbs that I was trying to manage.  Is this limb a real change, or just one of these beliefs that I tried on for size?  Is that tail really something that I still believe, or just something that I don't want to let go of because it will cause a family ruckus?  These kind of questions make it hard to process new questions, debate new idea, and test new beliefs.  It's for this reason that I've been too silent for much of these past two years on what was happening inside of me.  I've decided that this has to change.  So I'm determined to begin to try to think clearly.  To face Truth honestly.  To question what I don't wish to question, and be ready to accept what I don't wish to accept.  To think out loud so that errors can be corrected before they form into beliefs.  To be ready to be wrong.  And to be ready to decide on what I think is right. 

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