2 years ago for day 116, 2019 with 1085 words.

Integrity

It was a series of events that led to a change of direction in my life. At the very least it led to a few years of questioning, probing, doubting. But more than that, it set me on a path that I intend to walk whilst I breathe in the atmosphere of this earth.

It wasn't all that much, on the surface of things. It was a simple task, something someone wanted me to do at work, something I needed to research.

The setting was my job in the media team at a Church, and the task was to do an hours presentation on Mormonism.

Yeah, a strange one I know. I doubt many of you are thinking "we've all been there right". But that was my task, and that was what I was going to do.

So I set about researching. Trying my best to understand what it is what Mormons believe, what this Book of Mormon (the book, not the show) was really about.

I spent hours doing my best to get a grasp of it all, and having got my thoughts together, I realised that, to me, it just didn't make sense. There were clear parts that fundamentally contradicted each other, and the reasons to base any belief that these words were divine seemed very shaky to me.

So I gave my hours talk on the outline of what it is that Mormon's believe, and coincidentally I met some Mormons shortly after.

Mormons, like Jehovahs Witnesses, are always up for a chat, so I invited them over. We had a pleasant enough time, but neither of us really got much out of the conversation. Except I got something.

This one little thing, nagging at me. These folks are surrounded by Mormonism, most of their friends will be Mormon, and their family too. They're not incentivised to seek out any truth, they're incentivised to keep on believing what they believe.

And that's when it hit me. So was I.

I'd been brought up as a Christian. Most of my family believed in God. Most of my friends, too. Heck, I even worked for a Church at the time.

I realised that the same incentive structure that would keep a Mormon from confronting the cold hard challenges against their beliefs could easily hold me back from confronting similar difficult challenges about what I believed to be true.

Upon realising this, it sparked a journey in me. One I've been on for almost 5 years now, and one I don't think I'll ever fully complete.

That journey has been one of introspection, attempting as best I can, to question my beliefs to get a sense of whether they're from convenience or reality.

Ultimately, it was a decision about integrity. If I hoped to chat to others, and them to move towards truth and not cling to comfort, I had to be willing to do so too.

And so I did. I questioned a lot of things. I found some answers. I found some direction. And I still have some questions.

I'm not at the point of knowing all the answers, unsurprisingly. I don't think our goal in life is to know it all.

Similar to a scientist, our goal is to get the best theory that explains what we see. To get as close to "truth" as we can.

I say "truth", because it's hard to grasp. And I'm not proud enough to think I'll ever have the whole truth in my little human skull.

But that doesn't mean we can't make progress. I might not know whether there's a red sports car a mile up the road, but that doesn't stop me from checking whether a car is coming before I step out into the road.

We don't need the entirety of truth to weigh up the things in front of us.

My current thoughts, are that there must be more to life than the atoms we see. There must be something beyond simple physics, there must be a why behind the what, there must be some form of who that set it all in motion.

I know many of you reading this will have come to a different conclusion, and I'd love to hear your thoughts over coffee sometime (if you're in London, hit me up). But honestly, after years of weighing things up, that's the best understanding I have right now. It's what makes the most sense to me from everything I know.

And having reached the conclusion that atheism didn't hold the answers for me, it was left to ask, what then?

For me, the historical records of the life and death of Jesus Christ are pretty remarkable. Whatever you make of him, Jesus certainly made a mark on this world. And as I did my best to look again at the claims of this man, I couldn't shake that it was the only thing that really made sense to me.

C.S. Lewis, author of Narnia, captured this beautifully:

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

The explanatory power of Christ is the only thing that makes this world have some semblence of reason.

It's not that I now have every answer. But at a high level, I see a picture that resonates with what I know of life.

I'm not someone who would say "I'll always believe in God", because for me, that's a bit silly.

If new evidence came up that made the whole thing make less sense, I'd have to re-evaluate.

Still today, 5 years on from that moment that changed the direction of my life, I question and doubt many things.

But I cannot shake that the most coherent answer for the things I see point to me that there's more than just atoms and matter.

But what matters most to me, is living a life of integrity. Being able to look someone in the eye, and showing that I'm willing to go through that which I expect others to, too.

That I'm not a hypocrite, saying one thing, and doing another.

That there is a oneness to my life that doesn't collapse in on itself.

To be a man of integrity.

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By Fred Rivett

Developer 👨‍💻 • Hobbyist designer 🎨 • Maker 🛠 • Runner 🏃‍♂️• Explorer 🌍

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