Posts Tagged ‘white noise machine’

When Lisa came home from the hospital one of the challenges was getting sleep. I was reminded of the days when we had little ones in the house because every night was a series of short naps broken by tending to various needs Lisa had. When she spoke with the doctor he said the mind protects itself after a major trauma by not allowing you to get into the deepest sleep where you might dream and relive the trauma. He recommended that we get some “white noise” in the room to help calm Lisa’s mind. So I bought a white noise machine.

The machine I brought home simulates many different sounds – an ocean crashing against the shore, a waterfall, a summer night with crickets chirping, a rain forest with birds calling, a steady rain, etc. Lisa latched onto the steady rain and she (and I) have gone to sleep with a steady rain falling every night for the past 4 weeks.

I have to admit the sound is rather calming when I just relax and accept the sound as the reality. But sometimes I can’t do that. One of my tasks is to make sure the dog is put up. When I step inside from a glorious winter night with no clouds in the sky and then climb into bed with a steady rain falling, my mind will sometimes begin an analysis of the obvious deception we are playing on ourselves. Perhaps even worse is the morning when I am trying to get up. Rising early has never been a big chore for me. Somehow when it is raining or at least when my mind perceives it is raining the waking is much more difficult. And in the first moments of morning consciousness I struggle to distinguish that the rain I hear is not the truth, but only a manmade “reality”.

Listening to our noise machine is not the only time that I am faced with deciding what is truth. Every day we are bombarded with hundreds, perhaps thousands of messages proclaiming things as truth. Advertising is predicated upon convincing us that a particular product is right for us so we buy it. We are in a political campaign and the candidates are seeking to convince us that they are persons who understand what is true and will fight for that truth. Okay in the political campaigns they may spend more time trying to convince us the other guy doesn’t have a clue about the truth, but the point is we have so many messages out there that it is hard to distinguish what is the ultimate truth.

There is also a mindset that all truth is relative, that there is not ultimate truth.  Perhaps it is because of my background as an engineer but I have never had much of a difficulty with the relativistic mindset.  I know that 2 + 2 = 4 and will not = 5.  There are things that are ultimate truth.  Admittedly that makes me stubborn at times about things that I have accepted as truth and I am wrong about, but I am convinced that my occasional inaccuracies about the truth does not change the veracity that ultimate truth exists.

The questions then is how do we know truth and how do we avoid all the deceptions that exist?  There are a few things that I have found helpful in this regards that I can share.  I am also interested in what others have to say so please sound off in the comments.

First as I mentioned above I am convinced that there is ultimate truth.  It begins with God and it is revealed through His Word – the Bible.  Now God chose to reveal himself through a book written over more than 1000 years by approximately 40 different authors so it does provide some interesting challenges to interpretation.  The Bible was written to be taken within the context of the whole and interpreted with Holy Spirit guided understanding.  John 16:13 says: “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes He will guide you into all truth.”  I have found guidance and comfort in the Word of God countless times.  It has never failed to provide reassurance for me in trials I have faced and questions that I have had.  This reliance upon the Word has been a trait that has been cultivated since I accepted Jesus as my Lord in 1983, so it is not necessarily a flip-the-switch action that automatically makes truth so much more clear.

Another help I have found is to hold onto times when Life Truths were clearly communicated to me.  In many cases these have become family stories that we frequently share.  As I sit and ponder this point I can easily picture a dozen times when God has showed up in our lives in real and tangible ways.  These Life Truths reinforce that 1) God is, 2) that God cares for us, 3) that God’s timing is perfect, 4) that God is more than enough to meet our needs, 5) that God has a sense of humor, 6) that God has a plan for every one of us… I could go on and on with truths that God has reinforced through direct interventions in our life.  I expect I will get to share a few of these stories over the coming weeks.  The point is if we ask God to get involved in our lives He will.  And each of those interventions becomes a touchpoint where we can say God taught me this truth… He is faithful, He is Love, He is Great beyond measure, He is!

The last help that I rely upon is the counsel of those I know to be persons of humility, integrity, and truth.  There are authors that I put in this category such as CS Lewis and Chuck Swindoll.  I put our pastor in that category.  My father is another that I look to with a high degree of regard.  I meet with my brothers and we often discuss different topics.  I have come to value their input in helping me to clearly see the big picture.  And being the father of adult children, I have learned that they have wisdom to share that often illuminates the truth better than if left to my own devices.  And finally the greatest human help in identifying truth is my wife.  Lisa knows me better than anyone now.  She understands how I think (and she loves me anyway), she understands my moods (and loves me anyway), and she knows my blind spots.  Because of this she is in a unique position to help me see situations and questions outside my normal paradigm.  Yes it takes tact and humility, but when we walk in love this becomes more the norm than the exception.  And the benefits in terms of seeing situations more clearly are amazing.

My time is up this morning, but I hope I have shared a few things that can help you in your search for truth.  As a parting thought, I encourage you to ask God to show you truth.  He loves it when we ask for this and then diligently seek to know truth, because the first thing we find is Him.  He is the ultimate truth.  When all else fades away, and all else will one day fade away, God remains.  If you do not know God it does not really matter because He knows you and if you want truth you will meet Him.  Just keep looking for truth and you will find it and you will find Him.  God bless you.

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