calling into question

I was taking the subway today. It was a hot and smoggy day, so I decided to be nice to the air and not drive my car to work and to my doctors appointment this afternoon. Anyway, on the way home I saw a billboard for National Geographic. It depicted a cross in black, on a red background, with the cross casting a shadow on the ground, except the shadow was of a question mark.

The tagline was something like “The secret they don’t want you to know.” Apparently it’s part of ‘Sacred Secrets Month’ at Nat Geo. (Please correct me if I don’t have my facts straight, I saw the billboard from inside the subway car, across the platform on the opposite track, so I couldn’t make out all the words exactly…)

Isn’t it ironic, that in a world where it is politically incorrect to say there is any truth, there can be a still be a secret that covers up ‘the truth’. So truth does exist, after all? You can’t have a mystery about something if there is no truth… otherwise you would solve the mystery only to find yourself holding nothing.

As I looked at the image, I couldn’t help but wonder, is the cross a question mark in my life? Is it a question mark in yours? Is it an enigma, or have you got it all figured out? It seems to me that I would be arrogant to say that I know everything there is to know about Jesus Christ, or even to suggest that we can know everything.

Jesus said “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32) In a time where we have little truth, we have little freedom as well. And so in place of truth we have experience. What have we seen? What have we felt? What have we tasted? We call ourselves Christ-followers instead of Christians. As we follow Christ, we experience a different kind of life. Shane Claiborne is a great example of how different that life can be. If you have time (50 min), check out one of his talks here.

I don’t know everything. I know that I’ve experienced grace in my lifetime that I never deserved. I know I’ve dreamed of God, felt His presence. I know I’ve seen things happen that are beyond what I’m capable to understand. So yes, the cross is a question mark in my life. It reminds me that for every thing I do know, there are more things I do not know, and that I’m ok with that. Because what I do know gives me the will to carry on.

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