Truth and Traffic

Do we exist in a world of our own making, where each determines his or her own truth? 

In my last post, I was headed after the new Mazda CX9 that blew through a stop sign just in front of me, at double the speed limit. Yes, he pulled over when he saw me coming and we had an intense little discussion. No yelling from me and no alibis from him. After all, if he’d hit me broadside at 50 mph …

It wasn’t the first time I had seen another driver purposely ignore traffic control devices. In fact, It’s the degree to which people decide to treat themselves as the exception of the moment. I’ve done it and so have you—the speed limit says 60 mph but since we’re late/anxious/choose your own rationale, we ease it up to 63 or maybe even 70 mph. Of course, we Americans draw the line at intentionally running red lights or stop signs—too dangerous to ourselves and others.

That wasn’t the case in the southern African country we lived in some years ago. I distinctly recall the first time my wife and I witnessed this flagrant disregard for the safety of others. Single lane each direction; we were stopped at a red light. In the rear view mirror, I saw an Isuzu pickup approaching rather fast. I cringed and must have cried out a warning. At the last moment, the guy veered over into the oncoming lane (which was likewise stopped for the light), zoomed around our car and the three ahead of us and shot across the intersection. He got through without hitting anyone.

So it must have been okay, right? Not really. Several times, we passed accident scenes—usually at intersections controlled by traffic lights. One car had been literally cut in half.

In each case, the driver(s) had assumed he (most were men in Third World countries) could re-define or ignore the traffic laws to suit his need of the moment. For him, that was his truth. He was impatient or felt he needed to dash ahead—right now! For cross traffic, their truth was that the green light meant they could proceed through the intersection safely. For those of us who witnessed the carnage caused by someone ignoring the law, our truth became: It’s green which means it’s okay to cross—maybe. I will always check both directions just in case.

"Truth is not something I can manipulate to suit my wants. Truth is ... truth."
Was that a re-definition of truth for each party? Hardly. Traffic laws were instituted for public safety and the efficient movement of traffic. Whether I choose to cut corners—an entitlement attitude, which we decry in others—or obey rules of the road religiously, truth hovers in the background. Truth is not something I can manipulate to suit my wants. Truth is … truth.

My dictionary defines truth as conformity with fact or reality. Truth seems to be such an elusive concept. Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor charged with passing sentence on Christ or releasing him, asked Jesus, “What is truth?”

How would you answer? Do we exist in a world of our own making, where each determines his or her own truth? Pundits attempt to trip unwary candidates with questions designed to show personal bias of views not in accordance with current political correctness. Questions about the biblical record of creation, gay rights, immigration, abortion, etc. The question of the moment has to do with increasing taxes on the rich, in the interest of fairness, to avoid the fiscal cliff. It’s tough being a politician.

Back to the question of truth: John the Apostle states in John 1:14, The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV)

According to that, Jesus Christ is the summation of truth.

If that be so, how do we apply the Person of Jesus Christ to ensuring public safety and the efficient movement of traffic?

More to come … I’d like to hear from you.

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