“Loving the truth means not only affirming it, but rather living it, bearing witness to it in your work.”
A few months ago, I found myself in a bad attitudinal space related to an important relationship in my life. It was as if every text message or email, even the mention of the individual, immediately set off every synapse in my brain connected to being annoyed. It didn’t manifest itself outwardly, at least that’s the story I told myself, but it was a feeling that wasn’t good and wasn’t of God. Some space and a lengthy summer vacation helped dissipate the intensity, but the underlying posture remained.
Last week, I attended one of the in-person gatherings for the professional development program I am completing. We spent a lot of time reflecting on all the stories we tell ourselves and how, as humans, we can fall into cycles of self-fulfilling narratives based on how our brain unconsciously selects certain data that reaffirms the arc of our story. As my peers were sharing their experiences, one wise leader confessed that he had a situation in which he "couldn’t even stand the way the guy held his fork." As we laughed in appreciation of both the silliness and the resonance of the image, one person at my table leaned over and quipped, "Seek and ye shall find!" I realized I could visualize someone holding a fork, and it bothered me.
On my plane ride home, I couldn’t stop thinking about the scriptural reference glibly turned on its face by my friend, and how convicted I was by it. In my challenging relationship or any of the situations in life and leadership, am I aware of what I am seeking? Am I analyzing the story I am telling myself and classifying it correctly as fiction or non-fiction? Before I share that story with someone else, am I considering the effect it might have? Am I seeking the truth of Christ or the truth that is convenient for my emotion?
I quickly realized that with this relationship, I had arrived at a fork in the road. The opportunity was either to seek the story I was telling myself or to seek the truth despite that it might mean I was wrong. Whatever we seek we will find. Are we looking for what the Lord calls us to discover? Prayers for all the forks in your road this week.