“Truth ain’t something you can just out run.” (A line from the song, Truth, by Steven Moakler) I was mulling over the title to this piece when the song, Truth, came on Spotify as I was listening to a playlist. Sometimes “life” happens like that, so I am running with it.
It certainly seems trite to speak of truth, especially when we speak of Truth with a capital “T”. How often do we think of Truth? Does Truth matter?
Truth (small “t”) is certainly something that we want to depend on in our everyday lives. Courts of law are designed to get at it. We seem to have a hard time finding it. “He said, she said” is the story we often hear, and it is hard to know what the truth really is, even in our everyday lives.
If I have learned one thing in over twenty years of practicing law, it is that one person’s “truth” and another person’s “truth” often diverge, significantly; and the actual truth is often very different from what either person perceives. That realization has hampered me in being the zealous advocate my profession tells me I should be for my clients. I can see that my clients do not always accurately perceive the truth about their own matters. Of course, I do the best I can to put their best foot forward.
People are funny like that, though. We often have a hard time grasping the truth of things, even in our own lives, sometimes especially in our own eyes. At the same time, we are convinced of “our truth”, especially when our truth is the way we perceive other people. Think planks and specs.
But, none of that is Truth (capital “T”). I think we all know in our heart of hearts, no matter how confidently we project our certainty, that we have a hard time really grasping what is true, even with a small “t”.
I have often thought in my day dreaming, going back when I was a child, “If I were only “there!’” (wherever there might be at the time). If I were present when that thing (whatever that thing might be) happened, I would know the truth about the matter. These thoughts have occurred to me in philosophical times. It is kind of the equivalent of the question: if a tree falls in the forest when no one is present, does it make a sound?
It is not the sound that is important, however, the truth is what was compelling to me. It has always seemed axiomatic to me that there is truth (small “t” and capital “T”). Even if I do not know the truth of a specific matter, truth is knowable. If there is an all knowing Being, that Being knows the truth of the matter. Christians call that all knowing Being, God.
The idea that God knows and can number all the hairs on our heads is exactly the kind of thing I have often contemplated, even well before I came to believe and “know” God. Regardless of whether you (or I) believe in God, Truth is. Truth exists, and it is knowable. I may not have a very good grasp on it, but truth and Truth is definitely “a Thing”.
That revelation, which goes back to some of my earliest philosophical thoughts, has been a guidepost for me. Acknowledging that truth/Truth exists means something. I could choose to ignore it. Many do, it seems without stopping to consider what they are doing. I have done that too. In those philosophical moments, though, it is hard to ignore.
What is compelling to me is that Truth exists whether I know it or acknowledge it. I could live my life not caring about Truth, but I find I do not want that disconnect. If there is Truth, I want to understand and connect to it, the best that I can.
Those philosophical underpinnings have led me continually back to search for Truth. I find in the God described in the Bible a description of a Being who is all knowing, who numbers the hairs on our heads, who knew me “from the foundation of the world”. That is where this acknowledgment and seeking the Truth as led me.
I may be wrong. I may be misperceiving the Truth. But, I know this: there is Truth, and Truth does matter.
Postscript: I find as I seek Truth, seek God, that things happen that suggest that God responds to those who seek him, just as Scripture says:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Matt. 7:7-8)
What prompted this piece is something I had written down weeks ago that prompted me to think on the fact that truth exists whether I (or anyone) knows the Truth. As I sat down to write, I had no outline. When the Steven Moakler song, Truth, began to play on my Spotify playlist, I had just written out the title, but had not written one word in the body of this piece.
I believe God works like that. He gives us little “signs” to let us know He is there. We miss those signs if we are not inclined toward Him. I look back on my life, and any person with a personal belief in God, a personal relationship with God, can do the same, and I see signs littering the memories of my past. This blog is first and foremost about faith because
“whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Heb. 11:6)
This is not just a platitude for me. It is the undercurrent, story of my life.
I did not throw out my mind or reason when I became a Christian. I was in college. I was exploring philosophy and other religions for this Truth I was convinced (and still am) that exists. Yet, as with any scientific experiment, we must approach the potential premise believing it to be possible.
I cannot claim any revelation special to me. It stands to reason that an infinite, all knowing God who desires to relationship and communication with us would have to initiate the dialogue.
That such a Being as can create the Universe in which we dwell briefly, like a mite on the back of an elephant, like a mere wisp in the atmosphere of eternity, might be wholly overwhelming if we saw Him in His fullness should not be lost on the seeker. That He “speaks” subtly in the stillness of our hearts when quieted and reflective reveals a loving God who deals delicately and kindly with us.
I pray that you become a seeker too if you do not know Him.