What if I were to take the uncertain path through the fog? What if I were to look and see what is on the other side?
“There are moments in our lives that we come to look back on as defining moments. These were opportunities for coarse correction. ”
I was catching up with a longtime friend a couple of weeks ago. We spent time in the same cities, same high schools, same religious upbringing, and similar families. We even lived together for a period of time. That was a long time ago... We’ve lived very different lives since then, and our journeys have taken very different paths.
It was wonderful to discover that over the decades, while we were on our different paths, our journeys took us in similar thought directions. We spent a good amount of time remembering how we were raised to think, to believe, and how we see life so differently now.
At one point in our talk, he began to talk about a conversation with his father where he raised the question, "If we were born in India, do you think we would still believe the way we do?"
That question is one both he and I have wrestled with much earlier in our separate journeys, but for his father, it was the first time he had been asked to consider the thought. My friend said the question visibly shook him.
Maybe you’ve never asked the question of yourself before now either. Maybe you are a bit shaken by it as well. Maybe there is something rising up in you, like you can feel it in your throat right at this moment, wanting you to reject the thought outright. Of course you would still believe “the truth” even if you were born and raised in another country, another culture, another belief system…
Of course you would…
There are moments in our lives that we come to look back on as defining moments. These were opportunities for coarse correction. These are moments in which decisions must be made. Do we press in, or do we let go? Do we ask the further questions, or do we dismiss them? Do we step into the fog of uncertainty believing there are promised lands ahead, or do we return to our homes built on deep foundations however small they may be?
For much of my life, I was led to fear the questions. To beware the “slippery slopes”. To blindly accept, to trust, by faith that which I cannot make sense of. If I were to be encouraged in my questioning at all, it would not be an open-ended encouragement, but rather to ask the question, “How can I find a way to make sense of this thing that seems to not make sense?”
It’s amazing what I have accepted as “proof” when searching only for what “proof” will “prove” this already accepted thought to be true. Amazing, and disheartening.
We (Jess and I) have often said publicly that one should be careful to open their eyes in search of truth. Be careful because you may find it, and once something is seen, it cannot be unseen. Be careful because you may not like what you can now not unsee. Be careful as it may lead to uncomfortably defining moments.
We (Jess and I), like my longtime friend, have chosen to embrace the defining moments...to journey without fear of uncertainty ahead. While this journey has been quite uncomfortable at times and has been equally demanding of thought and action, it has always been worth it.
I would invite you then to ask yourself the questions, "What if I were to take the uncertain path through the fog? What if I were to look and see what is on the other side?"
Be careful, however, and consider yourself twice warned; once you see, you cannot unsee.