Audio version read by Cheryl who-do-you-trust-ss-1-6-21.mp3
“Who Do You Trust” was an old (black and white) tv show. The premise was that couples would compete for money by answering questions. The husband decided who would answer, him or his wife, hoping he chose the one with the most knowledge on the subject. I wonder if there were divorce proceedings begun after those shows! In an increasingly cynical cultural environment, constantly lied to and manipulated, we find ourselves asking that same question. Who has the right answers? Skepticism is rampant for good reason. The fact checkers need fact checkers, and everyone claims their opponents are lying. Who can tell what the truth of the matter really is? Withdrawal, suspicion, fear of manipulation and outright disgust play upon our souls like a dissonant tune. Frustration and impatience characterize interactions on every level, noticeable even when we drive. We long for civility and harmony, but that requires a level of maturity and openness that seems to be collateral damage of our pandemic predicament.
Vulnerable and despondent, we find ourselves barraged with pleas and recipes for positivity to offset the stress of covid isolation. There are so many prescriptions from all directions about diet, exercise, meditation, etc. But solutions sour, for all too often the pastor turns predator, the “expert” is exempt from his own advice, the celebrity is pretending (off screen this time), the musician is as disoriented (or more) than we are, and like cattle we find ourselves merely merchandise for opportunists and social media who use our angst to line their own pockets. More often we choose to trust our own instincts, despite the fact that our path has been littered with broken, unsatisfying and sometimes horrifying dilemmas because of our misplaced self-reliance. “Those who depend only on their own judgment are like those lost on the seas, carried away by any wave or picked up by any wind.” James 1:6 V
Then there is hope of soul soothing religion. But which one do you choose? So many claims on truth! It’s just too confusing!! So we withdraw, a place that is becoming all too familiar and comfortable. Unfortunately it is also spiritually deadly. Eternity is forfeit to our distrust. The mind poison of illusion and deception are tools of the trade that have been wielded against our species since our arrival into the cosmos. Succulent newcomers, we were ripe for the picking, the suggestion that we could be our own gods too enticing to resist. We could not even trust the Creator Himself when all was good – no sickness, evil, sorrow, poverty. So unsurprisingly, at this point we can be played like a fiddle, as darkness, disease and despair wash over the landscape – at times like a tsunami.
That’s why I like Jesus – the One Who called Himself ‘the Truth’. More than allegory, the man dared to suggest that He has the answers, enigmatic and elusive as they are, and that it is safe to trust Him. He calls Himself the good shepherd, the way, the truth, the life. He dared say ‘Come to Me” rather than come to My teachings. Of course, trusting Him – Who at this point resides in the sides of the North in the center of the universe – is risky. He might meddle with some treasured idol in your soul, He might make you uncomfortable in your sin, He might call you to walk on water. You will be weird to your friends, swimming upstream, meanwhile learning uncomfortable lessons that equip you for eternal existence. He promises to accept, forgive, comfort, teach, and prepare you for unending usefulness, purposefulness, wholeness, and joy. He promises that He is preparing a place for you, custom made. Either He was a maniac or our solution. The evidence, if you are willing to objectively research it, point to the latter. We are given the choice – though He could rightfully insist, – on who we will trust. The common preference: the father of lies. The less popular choice – the one and only Son of God, the Truth. I close with Clive Staples, marveling at his brilliant ability to illustrate the obvious.
“There are times when we can do all that a fellow creature needs if only he will trust us. In getting a dog out of a trap, in extracting a thorn from a child’s finger, in teaching a boy to swim or rescuing one who can’t, in getting a frightened beginner over a nasty place on a mountain, the one fatal obstacle may be their distrust. We are asking them to trust us in the teeth of their sense, their imagination, and their intelligence. We ask them to believe that what is painful will relieve their pain and that what looks dangerous is their only safety. We ask them to accept apparent impossibilities: that moving the paw farther back into the trap is the way to get it out – that hurting the finger very much more will stop the finger hurting – that water which is obviously permeable will resist and support the body – that holding onto the only support within reach is not the way to avoid sinking – that to go higher and onto a more exposed ledge is the way not to fall. To support all these incredibilia we can rely only on the other party’s confidence in us – a confidence certainly not based on demonstration, admittedly shot through with emotion, and perhaps, if we are strangers, resting on nothing but such assurance as the look of our face and the tone of our voice can supply, or even, for the dog, on our smell. Sometimes, because of their unbelief, we can do no mighty works. But if we succeed, we do so because they have maintained their faith in us against apparently contrary evidence. No one blames us for demanding such faith. No one blames them for giving it.
From The World’s Last Night CS Lewis
So – who do you trust?