Looking Back: Follow the Truth

Installment 2 of my trio (read yesterday’s post below for the set-up) is also from the 20 June 2005 edition of Occasional Episltes of Grace and Peace.  The title is Follow the Truth:

…wherever it may lead” read the sign on the Music City Assembly of God…not bad for a marquee one-liner. I snapped a picture of it one day on the way home; that photo has been above my desk in my study ever since. I think it’ll make a fine intro to my blog: it is simple and it is honest. And as far as one-liners go, its a splendid compass point. I’d like that sentiment to hang over my desk here in cyberspace.

I don’t know the subtext behind that marquee. Maybe the good folk at the Music City Assembly intended it to have a subtext of swarshbucklin’ go-get-em “defense of the faith.” Maybe they were trying to communicate with the commuters on Edmondson Pike that their church was a safe place to seek truth. For all I know they got it off one of those horrid emails that comes around every so often loaded with 27,000 trite-if-not-idiotic one-liners (i.e. OUR CH–CH…what’s missing??? UR).

Whatever their intent, and whatever the subtext, it struck me in a positive way. And the sentiment has remained with me. I’d like to embrace the rhetoric that speaks with humble conviction: I will follow the truth where it leads. I want to seek truth. Not that I have obtained it, for I see darkly, but one day…

Seeking truth, and following truth, is a hopeful journey. Hope is confidence in what (who/Who) is other than my self; I am not satisfied with now, I press on to the more truthful tomorrow. I am not satisfied with self, but only in He who is truth. Truth-seeking is a humbling journey. I am not arrogant now, indeed, I cannot be, dare not be, arrogant in the now, but relentlessly open to the more truthful tomorrow. It is a journey: both in seeking truth and in following it. Both in discernment and in implementation.

I’d like to be hopeful in my journey for and with truth. I’d like to be humble in my journey for and with truth. I am humbled by my ignorance and my failure to implement. Sometimes I’d rather not go where truth will lead. Sometimes I am deluded by my prideful knowledge. Hope both lifts my vision beyond pride and humbles me because I constantly see how far I have yet to journey. Hope also lifts my vision beyond despair, because I am not secure because of my grasp of the truth, or a truth, or any truth, but I am secure in Him who is Truth.

In future posts I’d like to explore how this sentiment can shape my task as teacher, exegete, theologian and scholar. I’d also like to explore how this sentiment can shape how I live as a human. I’m charged up to do this because I am convinced that the hopeful-yet-humble journey of truth-seeking resonates in our own postmodern context. I want to speak a word of grace and peace to our context; I suspect that the Music City Assembly marquee may give me the vocabulary and the spirit with which to do it.

Your thoughts are welcome here, friend.

Grace and peace.

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