For a while, as you know, I’ve found it too difficult to write at all, except in short spurts on Instagram (@makingahand) or a letter or two. This wasn’t how I planned things to be. But in this time, I found out just how much our world craves authentic, truthful and real stories. I’ve become a consumer of the endless fountain of words and images freely offered by people everywhere.
I discovered a whole community of like-minded folks who share and create art, music, and goods out of the western lifestyle. There are punchy gals who are good hands with horses; crafty gals who create beautiful leather goods, T-shirts, photography…you name it, there’s somebody out there who does it. I’ve also seen this same bunch be pretty funny about the word “authentic”. I never knew just how snobby the cowboy culture could be! Poking fun at flat hats, looking down on barrel racers, idolizing traditions and scoffing at each other, it’s all there. But I also found that when authenticity shows itself, we can’t recognize it. Most of the time, it gets passed over for the tinny, hollow, sequined imitations.
All I can say to you is that if you are really looking for the truth, you’ll see it. There’s a bit of truth in all that other stuff, too. That is how it catches your eye. But like a steel silhouette against the sky, it’s not real. Oh, the dimensions are right and the details are there but…it’s not even alive.
Truth, authenticity, and reality are more often used as labels than descriptions, because if you get enough distance between you and the truth, everything seems relative.
Every story you see or hear is told subjectively and in turn applied subjectively. Truth vanishes when people forget that it is objective and absolute, not subjective, like their point of view.
Before you know it, you become cynical or indifferent because you can’t discern where the authentic, real truth is. Wouldn’t it be nice to be closer to the truth?
Remember, the experiences others post about are told to you second-hand. Do not forget that no matter the tricks your brain might try to play on you. You didn’t really live that moment. This is important because we are meant to live our own lives. Every one of us was given his or her very own purpose in life. It would be easy to miss that if the experiences you were meant to live never happened to you because you were satisfied with second-hand accounts of real things and never stirred yourself to look around.
You were meant to have a real story. You were born authentic. Let me encourage you to stay that way and reject the distorted and grotesque second-hand version of your life. If you’re tied off to the Truth, then take up the slack and stay closer to it. Don’t live a lie.
I’m not here to say you should reject everything. But look carefully at things! Be a critical thinker with an independent mind. Train yourself to stand back and observe things first. We all know that life comes with storms. Scary, terrible times. Impossible times. I hope you hear me when I say that turning to a virtual world will not get you any nearer the truth no matter what preacher you listen to, YouTube channel you follow, or positive influence you ‘like’ all the time.
You want to get close to the Truth? I’ll give you a universal, made-for-everyone, can’t-miss, sure-enough fact: read God’s Word for yourself. This is the only sure-fire way to take up the slack between you and reality, truth, and authenticity. The Bible is the timeless Word of God. Jesus is the Word, He is the Truth, He is the Way and He is the Life. And when you read it, God himself comes to help you understand what you’re reading. Then, like a pair of custom eyeglasses, everything else you look at will be clearer.
My husband and I have decided to start this new decade by reading and listening to the entire Bible over the course of this year. The Truth of all the ages is at our fingertips, and somehow it’s so easy to miss. We have figured out we have to be intentional about seeking God. If you wanna do this with us, you are welcome to! We chose a year-long read through the Bible plan where we read some New and some Old Testament every day. We read when we can, but mostly use the Bible.is app (it’s great and it’s free!) to listen to it while we feed cows or tend to kids and critters. For the life of me I can’t ever find the time to sit down with a wad of highlighters, pens and a journal, holding a full cup of hot coffee, and ‘be in the Word’ every morning for an hour. My husband can’t get out the door at daylight and feed and check heifers with an open study Bible in his lap. It’s unfortunate, but true. We know we have to fight for the quiet times, and have become scavengers of minutes and seconds that we can use to devote a thought to a scripture passage or a moment to a prayer. But that’s how we take up slack and stay closer to the One who loves us so much.