I was an atheist from the time I was 12 till I was nearly 21. An atheist who “shared my faith”. If I found any Christian (usually Protestant) friends during that time who had any conviction to stand up for their faith, I just loved to tie into them with all the good reasons why there is no God and that religion is baloney. They’d almost always start backing off on any stand of faith they might have timidly taken. The only kids I found with any faith that couldn’t be easily mocked were the Catholic kids. Anyway, that was a long time ago and I don’t mean to demean any denominations here. Things have changed in some ways since back then.
But I really wasn’t looking for God since He wasn’t there. “God, Jesus, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, it’s all the same group!”, that’s what I always said. I was really a case. And it’s always sort of astounded me that I ended up being a believer and even giving my life to serve God.
But I’ve always thought, if I had anything going for me at all, it was that I just somehow believed there is the Truth somewhere. Growing up in central Texas, I looked for truth in some unusual places. I actually even tried reading Karl Marx, just to see if there was any truth there. It was too dense for me or I just wasn’t really at that level yet to even understand what it was about. I read about every book my folks had and they had a lot, they were authors and jornalists.
About the closest I could get to finding truth was in the music that began to change around the time I was 14 or 15. This thing about everything being “relative” and that “there really isn’t such thing as truth” never floated my boat. I just knew there was truth and as I got older, I looked for it more and more.
In the 1960’s people started looking for and talking about love. I told my girlfriend one time that I didn’t even know what love was. I really meant it but it also shocked me when I said that. I knew that wasn’t really a good thing and it gave me a brief glimpse of how bad off I was getting.
I guess, all the while, the Lord in heaven was watching me and leading my life or allowing it to go the direction it did. It got more messed up when I went to the University of Texas at Austin in the late 60’s. I was on the ground floor of the massive social changes that went on there at that time, both the counter culture as well as the political movement. But all the while, my soul shriveled and my mind got more mixed up and into the darker side of life and even the spiritual world.
When I finally came to a knowledge of God and, a few months later, a relationship with Jesus, perhaps the greatest feeling was that I’d found the truth. When I read for the first time where Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6), it spoke to me so much. Jesus said that He Himself was and is The Truth. Later in the same book of John, Jesus said in prayer to His Father, “Your Word is truth.” (John 17:17) I had and still have such joy and fulfillment in the truth-filled writings of the Bible. It was pure, it was light, it was health to my soul and mind. I had to grow in love. I really almost had to learn what love was, I was so bad off. But the truth was there, just like wandering across a desert to find a clear lake of refreshing water.
Some places in the Bible there are words of endearment. We find people saying, “Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6) or “the Lord or Hosts” or actually many different words that are used at special times to make Him seem nearer by calling Him some name that’s very special to the individual.
I’ll let you in on one of mine. When I am praying in a personal way to the Lord, sometimes I call Him Truth. If I’m praying to Truth, I’m praying to Jesus and God because They are Truth. And that makes it more special and intimate to me.
Maybe you have some special word or name with which you address God or Jesus at some special moment? You might think, “Oh I can’t do that, I have to say Father God or Lord Jesus.” That’s surely the place to start and there‘s nothing wrong with that.
But if you’ve come further along in your relationship with the Lord and you sometimes have some special word or name you use, just like you might do with your parents, or kids or mate, I’m pretty sure that it’s fine. He wants to be near and dear to us all. For me, sometimes I just call Him Truth.