The importance of truth

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In a world teeming with lies, the truth is hidden. Sometimes, I feel like it is the Balrog (minus the evilness), hidden so deep that only the people who are willing to toil in the dark can be rewarded by its presence. These are the ones who, against what the conventional world is telling them, keep on laboring even when there is no guarantee that the reward lies on the other side. With their mind fixed, they possess a singular focus to unearth that which lies in secret. And when they catch a glimpse at that which their eyes have never seen before, they esteem it as precious and worthy of all the hard work they exerted to gain such a prize.

I live a life plagued with fears and lies. Our friends, our family, our society, our culture, our institutions, all seem to be working in close conjunction to propagate the lies that seep through our hearts and souls. We are then tainted by its touch and yet we cannot rid ourselves of its stench. It claws its way deep into our very essence. It perverts our thoughts; that which is wrong is made right, and that which is right is made wrong. Destruction lies in its wake and we, its willing vessels, are destroyed in the process. In the darkest darkness, the truth’s brief, shimmering light jars the mind and offers a completely different alternative: what if things do not have to be as they are now? What if we can change our fate? What if the details of our life are not written in stone? What if who we think we are is but a weak iteration of our true possible self? What if we are not merely victims of the capriciousness of life? What if we can be victorious instead?

The best lies are the ones we never question. Sometimes, you can talk yourself into the person that you become. Unfortunately, the words we often hear spoken over ourselves or the ones we proclaim over ourselves are not the ones we would ever want to become. The heart and mind are the greatest battle grounds we can ever face. If we win there, we win on every battle ground we can face. To lose there is to let the fears and lies reign over your life. If it is true that the best lies are the ones we never question, then it is equally true that the best truths are the ones we fought for.  That which I hold on as true cost me bruises and scars. These wounds serve as eternal reminders that the battle for truth is costly. However, the pain is worth it. It is more expensive to live a lie. Honesty is always the better policy. In fact, it should be your only policy!

It is sad to come to the realization that I believe more lies about myself than truths. It is heartbreaking to know that while I may be able to write a long list of the fears and lies I have believed in, the list is rather short on the truths I know to be true about myself. The path to finding the truth is ever fraught with obstacles. To gain Truth is both challenging and extremely liberating. Wherever you are on this journey, whether it’s in the first step of confronting the lies, or in the daily overcoming of the lies, may the Truth always encourage you and strengthen you along the Way.

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The importance of thanksgiving

I have a tendency to complain. I look at the world and I wonder how come I don’t have this or that. I look at people and wish I had what they had. I’m never satisfied. The Bible says that the eyes want a lot of things. It uses the more technical term of “coveting” other stuff. Personally, I’d rather say “I want that” or “I need that” than “I covet that.” It just seems so strong and so wrong. But it is exactly that… very wrong!

The problem with this endless state of wanting and needing is that you end up being unsatisfied ALL THE TIME. It’s only when we take stock of what we actually have that we can start being thankful. One time I was on the bus and just started to think about what I had on me at that time and what startled me was that I easily was worth a thousand bucks. The cost of my shirt, my pants, my underwear, my shoes, my laptop, my iPod touch, and my jewelry combined totalled just about that, if not slightly more. When I say I’m worth a thousand bucks, I sometimes mean it in the most literal sense! It’s in one of those moments of “counting your blessings” that you start realizing how blessed you are. I start thinking of the many Christians who live in oppressive regimes where religious tolerance is more a buzzword than a reality and here I am in a democratically free country. Whenever I hear Christians that say they are being “persecuted” by this post-Christendom society, something within me gets agitated and riled up. At most, what others are doing to you can be called “social ostracism”, NOT persecution. And even then, how much of that is really brought on by your adherence to Christianity versus the fact that your personal attitude towards others border on arrogance and social awkwardness? Are you sure they don’t like you because you’re a Christian or because you act the way you act? (That’s for another blog post!)

This Thanksgiving weekend, I choose to be thankful. I’m thankful for my family who supports me, my friends who are there for me, and for my God who redeemed me, loves me, and is so ever patient with me. I’m thankful for people who believe in me. I’m thankful for opportunities that have been given to me. I’m thankful for artists who inspire me and challenges me to hone my craft and drive my desire for excellence. I’m thankful for this life that I have been given.

Who/what are you thankful for?