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Friday, February 12, 2016

Turning a few stones....

Galileo once said, "All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them." Nothing could be more truthful than those words. We often want to understand the truth, but we do very little to actually discover it. I like watching those shows on how things are made. They are on my list of viewing options at least two to three times a week and there are times when I am just amazed to find out how things are put together, what goes into making a particular object, or how much work goes into the creative process behind the object we see as the end result of someone's intense labor. For example, I had absolutely no idea how much work goes into the making of some of those little cones of incense we once saw so prominently sold during the 60's and 70's. They are less popular today with the introduction of these "oil diffusers" and "wax melting pots" we see marketed now, but back in the day they were the thing we'd use to fill the air with some flowery or woodsy appeal. There is actually a company who "hand makes" those little cone shaped incense rods - about a dozen at a time - carefully hand-pressing the moist mixture of pungent ingredients into their mold and then letting them dry for four days in a temperature controlled room.  They are even hand packaged! What caught my attention was how detailed they were in the mixture of what goes into each of these in order to get the perfect blend of aromatic odor from the finished product and then the hand-loading of the molds.  To discover truth, we have to be looking for it!


The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your right rulings will surely last forever.  (Psalm 119:160 VOICE)

Discovery is defined as uncovering or finding something which was previously unseen or unknown to the one who comes across it.  In the most literal sense, anytime we roll over a stone in the desert, or rake up leaves which have been on the ground for a while, we will discover some things which may have been hidden from our view.  Perhaps we discover a little bit of death and decay under those leaves.  Or maybe we discover a few crawling insects under the stone.  Those things or conditions were already there - they just had not been discovered by us yet.  The process of death or decay was masked or hidden under the pile of leaves which were left undisturbed for a while.  The hiding place for these crawling insects may have provided them shelter from heat or predators, but as soon as they are "uncovered", they flee again to find some other shelter.  Why?  They don't like being discovered!  Some 'truth' is easily discovered, such as when we put our fingers on a hot burner and realize heat burns. Other 'truth' may take us a while to really get at it because it requires some turning of stones, removal of hiding places, and raking up of the leaves which are allowing death and decay to occur!

Elvis Presley said, "Truth is like the sun.  You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away."  We might want to black out the truth for a while, but it as with the sunlight, it isn't going to be less true simply because we want to block it out! What happens to us when we block truth from our lives?  We become narrow-minded, limited in our focus, and even a little too "myopic" (near-sighted).  We don't see the bigger picture and therefore, we are often not going to engage with the truth we might receive or know with the same energy and commitment as we might if we were open to discovery. Truth goes two ways - it is about what we open ourselves up to receive and what we actually seek after to discover in a greater way.  To know what is under the stone, I need to turn it over.  Until that time, I can only surmise there are insects and crawling creatures under there.  Turning it over is one thing - but taking account of what is there is another!  We often turn stones in our lives without really taking notice of what is underneath! Yes, we see something there, noticing it on a superficial level, but discovery really hasn't taken place until we notice what has been revealed.

Discovery may involve disclosure - what once was not spoken of, or which had not previously been asked must be.  Why? It opens the door to discovery.  Turning the stone or raking the leaves is the first step to discovery, but what was disclosed must be considered, treated with care, and observed in total. If we just see the indent left by the stone, we will not notice the earthworms squirming deeper into the soil!  Some of the time, we allow discovery in our lives, but only surface-deep. We are like the earthworm - when the stones get turned, we let some things squirm deeper inside so they don't risk being discovered!  I know the earthworms in my garden are there, not because someone told me they existed.  I know they are there because I took the spade, turned over the soil myself, and saw them with my own two eyes!  Just sayin!