Navigating the Maelstrom
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That makes sense because what is seen as beautiful through one set of eyes may look totally different through another. My mother loved the color green. Anything green was beautiful to her. My favorite color growing up was orange. Mom and I sometimes had very different ideas of what looked attractive. Then in college I discovered the beauty of blue in the eyes of my girlfriend/fiancée/wife. Some people love desert sunsets, some see a seascape as the epitome of beauty, and some Picasso! All of this is fine and good. It’s right that beauty should be a matter personal preference.
But what about truth; should what is “true” also be a matter of preference? If you like Rembrandt and your friend prefers Warhol that is simply a matter of taste. No one is going to be adversely affected by your individual judgment. But what is seen as truth is of much greater weight. It can affect a person’s freedom and very life.
Yet, in our world “truth” is often determined by individual or group preference. What is “true” in one context or cultural assemblage may, and often is the opposite of that held by another or even the majority.
There was a time not too long ago when everyone had a standard, a foundation, and bedrock by which to evaluate and determine the difference between what was opinion and what in fact was truth. Fact was a part of that process. But the facts were not arbitrary either. Fact was built on principle and principle was anchored in absolute truth. Action, opinion, perspective were all submitted to that underlying foundation. Truth was something that could be known and trusted to be consistent from situation to situation.
Today we live in a maelstrom of relativity. As we have turned our back on the bedrock foundation of God’s Truth and let the concept of entitlement reign in its place “truth” has been reduced to a mantra of whatever a particular subculture thinks is right in their own eyes. We see this played out every night on the TV, in the newspaper, and in the judicial and political arenas. Public figures say whatever “truth” their current audience wants to hear in order to receive that group’s support.
Yet, Truth endures and in the end triumphs over every opinion. How does that happen? It happens by you and me walking in what we know to be true. Truth ultimately is not a question of words, but action. To paraphrase an ancient author, “You show me truth by your words, and I will show you truth by my actions.” (James 2:18)
What are those actions? Truth is demonstrated by attitudes and behaviors that are rooted in the unshakeable bedrock of absolutes. Being true to your word whatever the cost to you is one very powerful and uncomplicated way that truth is seen. Integrity, “My word is my bond”, is something our relativity tossed world is dying to see. Loyalty and honesty are two more examples. I am sure you can think of others specific to your sphere.
Mountain Taker, you don’t just have the truth, you know The Truth! May He be seen on your Mountain this week through your words and actions.
Have a great and fruitful week on your Mountain!