An NCF teenager shares his reflections on Truth
What do you know to be true? Eastern Mennonite University asked, and one of the teenagers in our fellowship, Theophilus Jackson, responded. Before he leaves to join the EMU freshmen class, Theo shares his thoughts with us.
* * * * *
What I know is true is that there are way more things I don’t know than things I do know. My grandmother used to say “The older I get, the less I know.” After talking with both her and Ron Simkins, and reflecting on those words myself, I began to understand them in a new way. The more we know, the more we appreciate what we truly do not know. Everything I learn becomes a window into the vast expanse of knowledge, most of which I do not yet have. That is a beautiful and humbling realization. I began to learn this at the 2015 CCDA conference in Memphis. While there, I attended a discussion of race with ten other adults. I went in thinking that I knew all there is to know, and ten minutes into the hour-long discussion I was embarrassed when I had nothing to add. Though I thought I knew truth, that truth changed before me, and I grew through the shame into someone who knew both more, and less.
The irony of truth is that it is both a rock and a river. Truth becomes solid when we see it through the love of Elohim. However truth will change, and it is crucial to be willing to adapt to and accept these changes.
When I was five, I prayed for a little sister. Physicians had told my mother that another pregnancy was medically impossible, but several months after my prayers she gave birth to my dear sister Charlee. The doctors said what was true as they knew it, but when my mother gave birth, truth changed. It not only was possible, but had happened. This event provided a wonderful foundation for Faith. While I cannot know that Elohim answered my prayer (for without eyes of faith I would have been blind to Elohim’s work) I trust in Elohim’s Truth. This moment encapsulates the beauty of Elohim; that Elohim never compels, but invites us to trust Elohim as Truth.
Luke says “I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” This verse has always (perhaps obviously) been special to me and shows me Elohim’s Truth. Whatever certainty or truth Luke is offering, it begins and ends not in his words, but in the Truth who is Elohim.