What is truth…part five

It worked out that I’ll be able to write today. I’m in Vancouver, Canada, for a conference about Jacques Ellul and the Bible. The hotel where I’m staying doesn’t have a business center, but I’m in the heart of the University of British Columbia and there’s one of those greater computer labs open late where I can get in a couple of paragraphs.

Truth takes on an added dimension when you travel because you pass hundreds or thousands of people busy about their lives, many of them locals, whose daily routine is where I’m vacationing. Take for instance the young lady I met on the plane ride over. She’s from Switzerland. She’s lived her entire life (until today) completely outside my sphere of knowledge. If we are speaking about truth that is real and not a notion created by humans, it must be accessible to her and the millions I flew over today.

This experience, seeing thousands of people with their own hopes and dreams and beliefs, always fills me with humility and second guessing. Yet, there is a defining characteristic of truth in the midst of all this human activity: truth must be lived out. This has been implied in the previous four posts, but not explicitly said. There is a risk involved in seeking truth, because if, as I think is clear, society is not living the truth, then to gamble your life to seek it is to orient your daily concerns in a unique way.

What becomes clear on a trip like this is people are very similar; we find ourselves in preestablished routines, ruts that suck away our time, our energy, our entire lives. In order to find truth we have to break free from the values of the world around us. To be clear, this choice to not conform won’t look different from a stranger’s perspective traveling on train through Vancouver, but to the people who come in contact with that person, there is a difference in how they live in the midst of the same environment.

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