Truth Requires Pacing

We get to know truth slowly, in proportion as we become true ourselves. That is, we become true as it bears fruit within the familiar patterns of our lives. No matter how hard we try, we can’t rush it. Like Henri Nouwen told us, “Answers before questions do damage to the soul.” We mustn’t be mad farmers, hurrying the harvest, fatiguing the field. We cannot accelerate wheat or corn or cabbage. In the words of Wendell Berry, we must teach our minds to “bear the long, slow growth of the fields, and to sing of its passing while it waits.” Mind renewal—becoming true—requires pacing. It takes time to wear in. We become true gradually, like a riverbed deepens, unhurried, year after year.

Jonathan R. BaileyTruth