Monday, January 30, 2023

What Standard Are We Navigating By?


A few days ago I took a walk after dark with the dog. The moon was full and the weather was unusually pleasant for this time of year though windy. The thing about walking the dog is that there's a lot of stopping and waiting, looking around. He thinks his job is to prevent cardio of any kind. Whatever, dog. 

I love to look at the night sky and while I was scanning it during one of our many stops, through the clouds I noticed a light that looked like a star. But it seemed to be moving so I thought maybe it was an airplane but it was far too distant to be a jet. A satellite maybe? Whatever it was it was moving rapidly. I stared at it for a long time trying to reckon its strange velocity in my mind. The ghostly gray clouds were drifting across the sky. I fixed my eyes on the light to see what direction it was moving. It was moving, right? 

It suddenly dawned on me. The light was stationary and the clouds were being blown by the wind and I'd been using them as my reference point. The light was a star that likely hadn't moved much in thousands of years. 

How often do we do this? We look around at events, or culture, or our own emotions and make judgments based on shifting vapors.  But the plumb line of truth remains unmoved and unwavering. We try to adjust the standard to the shifting thinking and beliefs of our day. In our culture truth has become a dirty word, something to mock and question instead of something to rally to. Many rail against the fixed point holding its place outside of time, civilizations, and empires. A fruitless battle that leads to nothing and nowhere. A fight that leads to exhausted delusion and eventually the inability to even see that the shifting is a vaporous lie confused for truth. 

We cannot navigate by clouds. They are too easily tossed about by swirling winds and the change of season. Our hearts and minds are created to search for that which is decidedly fixed. We are imprinted with the desire for what is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. But our world is corrupted and fallen and easily led astray and we are often invited to step onto the shifting sand of popular opinion. 

It's when the furious swirling is at its most intense that we should take a reading of where we are in relation to the unchangeable truths of life. While many people delight in confusion and take daily readings of the situation to determine who they are and what they think. Let us fix our beliefs, behavior, and values to the unchanged and stand firm whatever the clouds may do.

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