Last night a group of us had a little discussion about truth, weighty stuff to be sure. But having a frame of reference, a fixed star to guide your life, a core truth to filter our understanding of the world around us makes this journey of ours simpler and more fun by helping us make good choices.
We talked a little last night about the analogy of a compass. It is only a useful tool for navigation as long as the needle is pointing north. Imagine trying to get somewhere following a compass that is constantly swinging all over the place. How do you know which way to go? How would you ever get to your destination?
Obviously you wouldn’t. You’d just wander aimlessly.
It’s really the same with truth. Unless we hold to a core truth, a steady reference outside ourselves to regularly compare where we are going, we’ll wander aimlessly all over the map through life.
Me, I use the Bible as my standard of truth. I know it isn’t the only source out there. But I’ve asked my tough questions, looked at the other options, and I’m content that it’s a good choice.
No. To be honest, I feel it is the best choice. But hey, I leave open the possibility that I may find one day that there is a better option. Until that time, though, (if it ever comes) I’m running with what I’ve got.
But what if I decided to look inward instead of outward for my core guiding truth? What would that look like?
Here’re some of the things you would have to deal with if I were the source of truth:
- Coffee and chocolate would both be their own food groups.
- Sleep would be a pleasant option instead of a hard requirement.
- Computers would naturally do what you wanted them to, not what you told them to.
- My driving techniques would be only right way to operate your car.
- Lawns would be self manicuring.
- Gnats would cease to exist.
- Every guy could afford to shop here.
- The internet wouldn’t be in danger of being hijacked by the high speed providers.
- Stupid people would have no rights (by my constantly changing definition of stupid, that is).
- Exercise really would be for the birds.
- Scaring cats would be a national sport.
And I’d be just getting started.
But I think you get the point. If I didn’t look to some external source to filter my choices through, I might very well believe that I’d be right to work toward some of the things on that list.
And that’s why truth is so important.
Jesus said, “And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Obviously he thought truth was pretty stinking powerful.
So I’ll agree with him on this one. And I’ll be glad I’m not God!