Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Mark of Maturity

I vividly remember an encounter I had as a young woman in the Lord. An older woman in our church was giving me a piece of wisdom that I did not appreciate. It had something to do with the security of the believer, or lack thereof. I remember not the exact words which were given. But I do remember one thing.

The dissonance. I had received certain truths into my spirit which had been the cause for much rejoicing, and I was very protective of that world. It surrounded me. The contradictory dissonance rang in my ears in such a way that I was afraid to let it continue.

After all, if I let my worldview shatter, then I would be vulnerable. I would have to work hard to rebuild my understanding. Seeking out the truth can be time-consuming, and I believe many, myself included at the time, are far too lazy to be such a seeker.

Seeking the truth diligently is rather akin to being in a perpetual construction zone. It can be messy. And overwhelming at times. Chances are that as soon as one area is finished, another one will be crumbling and require attention. Yet continued diligence in this area will yield a world view which is strong and likely to crumble much less completely and much less frequently. The key is: let it crumble!

I believe in the world of Christendom it is very easy for people to ride upon another's understanding. And to blindly follow another's world view without having tested it themselves. This is why it is very difficult in some churches to ask questions. After all, who are we to question what Bible scholars and great pastors have "figured out" before us? Certainly we must respect our teachers and learn from those around us. But I have heard it said that any pastor worth his salt will be rejoicing when questions abound about the Word of God. I agree! And we plan to find such a pastor, as we are currently seeking a new place of worship, closer to home.

But truth seeking is not limited to the Bible; though to the yielded Christian that may be the only important thing. God gave us a brain and put us in a rational world; a world that makes sense. We can use our minds to understand that world. I believe we have a responsibility to peel back the layer of deception which is often found in mainstream media, and to be a seeker of the truth in all areas of life; to disallow the worldview of ease in our lives. We can do this in many different ways. The internet provides a way to look at history as it is happening, instead of waiting for the polished (often inaccurate) version to show up in a textbook. There are some very reliable news sources today. Just by having a mindset which questions instead of accepts, we can filter through a myriad of errors.

One of my favorite Christmas specials is Mister Bean's Christmas. In this hilariously funny episode, Mr. Bean goes shopping for some Christmas ornaments and he chooses two shiny balls. He decides to test them by bouncing them upon the hard cement floor. The first one shatters. He is undeterred, and throws down the second one, which amazingly bounces right back up. He smiles, satisfied that he has chosen the best decoration, and moves on (note that he broke it, but he did not buy it ;-) ).

I like his courage. He is not afraid to test something beautiful and fragile, though it may break, and in the end he has a durable, beautiful ornament that he can be proud of.

In my mind that willingness to forge ahead and find the truth, whatever the cost, is a true mark of maturity. For the last few years or so I have listened eagerly when others expound about the truths they hold dear, and I am thankful that I have learned to tune out dissonance (usually :-) ), as I examine my particular view of the world for flaws. My world view has changed, as a result, and I believe this is a very good thing.

These thoughts are the result of watching a passionate truth-seeker in action. I have grown to admire and emulate my husband's journey to find a truly consistent world view.

Note to husband: Nathan - you inspire me! I think you have the most consistent world view of anyone I know, and I love you for your love of the truth. I thank my God for you always...

1 comment:

  1. That dissonance is present in the blogosphere as well. What an important reminder to not only be discerning, but to become firmly ensconced in what we believe! Thank you, friend.