It can be staring me right in the face, and I’ll still miss it. It’s only after I find it, that I realize how obvious it was all along (duh).
I’ll give you an example from my engineering career. We were having lots of test failures, and I was in charge of finding the cause. With a pre-conceived notion in my head, I went in search of some complex root cause, pouring through all the data I could find. After a couple of days of fruitless labor, my boss came out to the production floor, surveyed the lay of the land for only a couple of minutes, pointed to some circuit boards resting in a holding tray, and dryly declared, “There’s your problem.”
And he was right! Boy did I feel dumb. The truth behind all the failures had been literally staring me in the face for over two days, and I never saw it. I had been looking for some complex problem, yet the truth was that the root cause was oh so simple. I wanted to show my engineering prowess and let people know how smart I was, but the truth didn’t require an engineering degree.
Here’s another example (this one I think I got right):
I look at the data that surrounds me everyday: flowers, a blade of grass, a bird gliding across the breeze, the air I breath in that keeps me alive, the food I eat that somehow is converted to energy, the huge variety of animals that abound the earth, the human brain that defies explanation, the vastness of the universe and all that is in it, and my list goes on and on.
I marvel at all this data. It baffles and amazes me. And it tells me a truth; for me the truth is that none of this data just happened by chance. There is an intelligence behind all that makes up our existence. The truth is God.
So, why? Why is it that the truth so often eludes us, yet it may be right in front of us? Why is it we have eyes, yet sometimes cannot see? Why is it we have brains, yet sometimes it seems we do not think? Why is it that sometimes I do not trade in my pre-conceived notions for reality? Why do so many of us ignore the data and instead go with our personal preference?
The answer I offer you today may not be easy to swallow, because it goes against our human nature. The answer is pride. Pride keeps us from going with the easy answer, when our ego is better boosted by the complex answer. Pride keeps us from admitting we are wrong. Pride keeps us from accepting that there is a being more powerful than we are. Pride keeps us in a prison of delusion.
Look at your own life. What has pride and ego done for you lately? Does it make your life easier, or perhaps more stressful, like when things don’t go your way? Open your eyes, try to consider the data again, and decide what you think the truth is. I sure hope you’re right.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32 NIV)