The Truth is a slippery son-of-a-gun. It’s like one of those water wiggler snakes I got for one of my middle school birthdays. It seemed a chintzy gift– a tube of rubber with water inside– until I held it in my awkward hands. I’d have it firmly in my grip, settled, sure. Then I’d turn my attention elsewhere for just a millisecond and – bam!- it’d slip right through grasping fingers before I knew what had happened. And then it was a frantic hand-over-hand pinching-corners routine that typically resulted in the water toy in my lap or on the floor.
And I’m learning that on good days, hanging onto a shred of the Truth is a lot like that; on bad ones, it’s attempting the same with warm butter on my hands.
I wake up and hear from God– a whisper in Word, a message in a journal, a peace through a song. I talk to a friend and remember I’m not alone, people are in my corner. I watch a video about injustice, and I’m inspired. I hear that God is for me, and I soul-core know it to be true. I talk to Matt about battle and Kingdom-advancing, about life as the battle of Normandy, and I become Frodo, swinging swords and climbing Mount Doom with a purpose bigger than the story I lived in the Shire.
But, then? Then, moments slip by– and so does that Truth.
And gravity pulls me into a spiral I don’t recognize I’m in until the Truth is left by itself on the floor and I’m clinching nothing but air. I begin to have crazy-making thoughts: No one cares about me, there’s nothing I can really do to fight slavery, God is distant and actually a bit indifferent, how I spend my time with my family doesn’t really matter, life isn’t a front-line battle, after all.
While the Truth might be a water snake toy, lies are a bit more like bricks– easy to pick up and hold onto with these two hands of mine. And if I were honest, most days the Truth has wriggled out of my hands and instead I’ve slipped slipped into spiritual sleep, into status-quo, into auto-pilot. Uninspired. Lethargic. Selfish. Isolated. Carrying bricks is heavy, yes, but it’s easier, too; holding bricks doesn’t require my constant attention.
But the truth about the Truth? I’m learning it’s worth the struggle to hang on to because it does change everything. It shifts the way I look at myself and others; the way I spend my moments. It changes my reactions, alters my entire perspective. Truth ushers me into the much bigger Story, calls me not to play small, welcomes Spirit at every turn.
Truth in my grasping hands beats lies settled in my clenched fists, any day.
And while it will take more effort, more attention, more energy to get grasped, Truth is worth picking off the floor and trying once again to hold.