There is an expression used about a car’s ability to change direction quickly. People say “it can turn on a dime.” Over the long holiday weekend, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about the truth of certain things. It seemed like the revelation of a truth can take a variety of routes, yet there is always a moment when the truth is amazingly clear; it turns on a dime.
For instance, a person might think they can live on a holiday regimen of chips, dip, pie, and pastries, but a day arrives when the cumulative result of such a diet is a waistband cutting a person in two. The discomfort creeps up and then one day it’s clear.
Just like that.
I had such an experience this weekend when my brother and I were talking about reading books. He is a steady reader and he compiles a list of the books he’s read every year and blogs about it. He was walking me through some of the non-fiction titles he’d read in 2012; then he asked me about my annual reading list. As I searched my brain for some titles, it struck me that I hadn’t read very much in the last year.
The truth of the matter turned on a dime.
Then there are those truths which a person senses, but refuses to believe. There might even be signs along the way, shining an illuminating spotlight on the matter. It’s easy enough to put sunglasses on and ignore the glare, but once again, a day arrives when it’s impossible to ignore the truth any longer.
I had one of those “better take the sunglasses off” revelations of truth this weekend too. The details aren’t important. What is important is how easily I had told myself a lie about something rather than face the truth. I did this for a long time and I had placed one lie upon another until I had built a whole citadel of lies. Like sunglasses, this walled fortification of falsity prevented me from seeing the truth.
A few months ago, I had found a crack in the citadel wall. That should have been the dime-turning moment for me, but I patched the crack up with disbelief.
On Monday, I was driving along in my beloved Jeep, taking a left onto School Street in my beloved Lisbon Falls, right in front of what used to be my beloved Holy Family Church. Some friends drove by and waved and all of a sudden, the truth turned on a dime and the citadel of lies came crashing down.
Just like that.
I’ve been ruminating about this for a few days now although I didn’t let it ruin my holidays. It just made me think and figure out which parts of my future plans will need to be reassessed and revised. I walked it out last night, climbing up Maple Street towards my Surprise Garden. At the top of the hill, near The Tomb, the moon was so bright and clear, I knew the truth was staring at me square in my face.
Jesus said “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Of course, he was talking about a more existential truth claim than the one I experienced over the weekend, but it is interesting to contemplate how imprisoned I was in my citadel of lies. I have to admit, I am feeling a teeny tiny bit of freedom today, small, but not insignificant.
What lies are holding you prisoner right now? Is there some truth turning on a dime for you?
Steve Miller said “take the money and run” but you won’t get very far on a dime.
Your brother’s speed reading makes my jaw drop. I took two or three weeks to read Bageant’s Deer Hunting with Jesus, and he downloaded it and read it in night on his Kindle (or somesuch). So yes, his list will be considerably longer than yours, or yours and mine put together. Don’t sweat it.