We Vacuum Pack Truth

Most of us wouldn’t recognize truth even if it was wrapped around a 2×4 with two 16-penny nails protruding through the end hitting us in the head as we scream ooooowie from being hit.

When I was in fifth grade and we had moved from the farm to the edge of the small farming community, down our street two brothers were building homes. There were piles of sand and rock in front of their newly forming houses. We boys on this street used to have rock fights from those piles lobbing the small rocks like grenades at each other. One of the boys we nicknamed Cement because when we would hit him in the head with a rock it would just bounce off him.

So, if you ask why, even after being hit in the head with truth, we don’t recognize it, I’d answer we have cement for heads.

There are a lot of us who are hardheaded, but there’s more to this than that. We just don’t want to know truth. That seems too incredible to believe. Why wouldn’t we want to know truth? This fact goes two different ways. First, we don’t want to know truth because we might be forced to change our minds and go a different direction that could potentially fundamentally change us in serious ways. We’re afraid of change, it’s too risky, too many pieces in our life would also change and our life goes from simple (the way we’ve ordered it) to complex before we make it back to a new simple that makes sense. A second cause is that we’ve become so intractably into what we believe (dogmatic) there can’t possibly be a different truth. We dogmatically hold to our truths and we won’t listen to a different truth even if it hits us square in the head.

How can we do this?

Air is the enemy of fresh cut fruits and vegetables and meat that we want to save. Not great for leftovers. To keep eatable for a week or month or year later without it spoiling we use a process called vacuum packing. We have from inexpensive to costly machines to suck all the air out of a package and heat seal it where no air can get in and spoil what we want to keep fresh.

Many years ago I did a teaching using the concept of vacuum packing, but instead of vacuum packing food we vacuum pack our truths.

I wrote an essay titled How Certain is Certain? you can read HERE. Certainty is a big part of why we vacuum pack our truths. I know, I know, for some of you fellow Christians I’m a threat to Christianity because I admit there is uncertainty in life but also accept it when Jesus takes away all uncertainty. How dare I?

One day at university I became curious about the author Ayn Rand and was given friendly Christian encouragement to not read her books, especially Atlas Shrugged because it would steal my faith, she being an atheist promoting self over God. Well, you know what a bull does when a red flag is shoved in their face, they go for it. Yep, I grabbed Atlas Shrugged and read through everything Rand wrote loving it. Among my best reads ever, at least her fiction, not necessarily her philosophy which I didn’t let steal my faith.

Those Christians who came to me warning about Ayn Rand are the same Christians who check their brain at the church door and I’m not sure if that’s going in or coming out. These are also the people who vacuum pack their truths. Now don’t get sassy because I’m here picking on Christians. God doesn’t require us to check our minds, in fact he created our brains to think with, now and into the future. The need to vacuum pack our truth is out of a knee-jerk human fear. It’s endemic to us all, our collective sin.

If two of you, whether you are close or distant relatives, friends, neighbors, strangers on social media are facing each other (at least through a smart phone or computer) screaming at each other, your ears are plugged, your eyes are covered so not one sound from the repugnant other gets into your gray matter behind your cranium. But even if it did that gray matter is filled with little plastic vacuum sealed bags containing what you believe is absolute truth.

Our greatest fear is that if one single molecule of air breaks through the seal a loud sucking noise will be heard as air sucks into the formerly sealed truth ruining it all. Lies will slither in and truth will slither out and we are back into chaos.

If you’re not one of the two arguing it’s hilarious watching this battle between vacuumed truths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I understand, neither of you illustrated above believe your truths are closed. That’s why it’s hilarious, the rest of us clearly see what you refuse to see. I suspect each of you have been on our side watching someone else make a fool of themselves and laughing just as hard. So maybe you might want to curl back your fingers and not let them walk over the keypad. Maybe you might want to plug your mouth with your fingers not letting everyone know you are all vacuumed packed inside.

Maybe we all need to do this at one time or another.

Better yet, stop with the vacuum packing your truths. Honestly, the moment you start squeezing all the air out of them they cease being truths. Put that in your pipe an smoke it.