Just finished eating a bowl of Wheaties. You know, the breakfast of champions. I\’m well off target, though, as it wasn\’t breakfast time, in fact it was a late lunch. And then I\’m not a champion, not even close. You\’ll never see my face on the box. So, why was I eating it? Well, a little while ago I returned from the grocery store with a trunk full of food. The store had hot deals on cereal, so I stocked up, which meant there wasn\’t enough space in the cereal cupboard for all the boxes. I was starving and contemplating what to have for lunch and by chance the Wheaties box had just the right amount of cereal for a bowl. So, I killed two birds with one stone: had the rest of the Wheaties for lunch and freed up space so that all the boxes would fit in the cupboard. Waaalaa! Presto! Amazing, I know!!
As I was collapsing the box for recycling I remembered that Olympic medalists often make the box front, and here we are, the day of the Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Yeah, again, I\’m sure your jaw just dropped. What a coincidence! What are the odds!?!
Surely you realize this is all said tongue in cheek. Nothing noted above is \”Wowza!\” worthy, nope, nothing. Just everyday kind of stuff, that sometimes we notice and other times we don\’t. I must admit, though, that it is more fun when I pay attention…slow down and look for the connections, slow down, climb up and see how the trees fit into the forest. Helps me think there is meaning in all of this, that somehow me as a little sapling does have a place in this sea of trees and that the forest matters in a really big way.
I read, no I think I heard, recently that by nature humans are meaning makers. We\’re always trying to make sense of what happens, we\’re always trying to fit things into a larger meaning, a larger story, a larger purpose. We desperately want to understand, to know, to see…we want this life experience to matter, somehow matter.
Some would assert that religions are created by man to provide that larger context, to give meaning to life. Religions are a construct to help us feel better about ourselves, to placate our hunger for meaning, to keep us under control. Answers on hand 24/7, we know where we fit and how it all works.
In contrast, I would assert that desire for meaning is divinely implanted in us and sets us seeking that larger story we know is out there, that larger story where Truth permeates every utterance. As hunger for Truth screams to be fed, we concoct all kinds of stories, stories we know intuitively are fictional tales, yet we keep on concocting them…in hopes we\’ll stumble on Truth. Once a piece of Truth is uncovered, then we cling to it and try to fit it together with the other Truth pieces we\’ve accumulated…like a puzzle that tells a story, we try to fit the pieces we have together in hopes we can step back and manage to see the big picture, the big story, the ultimate meaning of life.
I think most of the world\’s religions are a reflection of that tireless seeking and that they hold pieces of Truth. We, who are created in God\’s image have sought and found many Truth pieces over the centuries…we\’ve done good as the human race, at least I think so. The Truth discoveries seem to come with blood shed and misunderstanding and have a variety of different looks to them, yet they come and we\’re all better for it.
Jesus claims to be \”the Way, the Truth, and the Life\” (John 14:6). I\’m not concocting this and I don\’t think the one who recorded these words put them into the mouth of Jesus. I also don\’t think Jesus lied. So, is He the Truth we seek? Is He the big picture, the one who gives meaning to our life? Can we fit into Him? Is our searching over?
I think the more Truth pieces we have, the more obvious it is that the Truth puzzle is a picture of Jesus. Hence the more Truth a religion has, the more likely it is to recognize Jesus as The Truth. Maybe that is why Jesus commanded His disciples to go out into all the world and spread the Good News–He knew that there would be those out there with enough pieces of Truth to recognize Him when they saw Him, to realize they had finally found Truth.
The last bit is one His followers through the ages have known: once we\’re in Jesus, once we\’re in the Truth, the Truth of Jesus comes to us in bits, as we\’re ready to receive it, some have less and some have more… All in Jesus are in Truth, but we can only understand that Truth as He reveals it to us and as we seek Him for it….seems the hunt continues, but at least we\’ve finally arrived, are in the middle of the Truth, and don\’t have to look far…