“God has set eternity in the heart of man.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
Truth, beauty and goodness are called the transcendentals, the things of this world that remind our hearts we are made for more than this world has to offer, that we are made for eternity. Our experience of creation somehow transcends, leads us beyond, to the Creator himself, the lover of our souls.
I once heard it said that although all of these transcendentals speak to our hearts and have the potential to lead us to God, there will be one in particular that is the gateway to your soul and opens it up to the others and to God. I decided to put this to the test and began to ask people which one they were drawn to the most.
The first person I spoke to told me that for them it was definitely beauty. Watching a beautiful sunset was an experience of heaven for them, and they felt God’s presence all around them in the beauty of nature. They could appreciate the design of a flower, the majesty of an old oak tree, or the way the beams of light stream through a window, making them feel God’s presence in a particular way and desire to give thanks to the one who created it all.
Another friend was listening to this conversation and immediately chimed in that for her it was goodness that opened up her soul to the Lord. She loved nothing more than to hear stories of the charitable and merciful deeds that people had done for others, or the way that God had healed someone with a touch of His presence. For her the inherent goodness in virtuous relationships reminded her of the goodness, love, mercy, and faithfulness of God and moved her heart closer to the Lord.
As I pondered the thoughts I was hearing from others, I realised that for me it is definitely truth that draws me the deepest. I love watching a good sunset with all the amazing array of colours or standing in awe at the incredible view from the top of a hill. I give thanks to the Lord when I hear inspiring stories of how people have sacrificed for the sake of others or stepped out in faith in obedience to the Lord. But when I think about what has transformed my own heart the most, has brought the most healing, and led me deeper into relationship with God, it is definitely truth.
Truth gives me roots when I feel rootless and it affirms that God is faithful even when I am not. Truth helps me to let go of my need to be in control knowing that God desires what is best for me. Truth reminds me that I don’t need to have all the answers and I don’t always need to rely on my own limited understanding. Truth takes me deeper into a revelation of God and makes me fall deeper in love with Him whom my soul loves.
Truth can be found in many places: in Scripture, in a good book, a favourite song, or the comforting words of a friend. Wherever it comes from, it hits you in the heart and demands to be pondered in order to take root and bring that deeper freedom to live an authentic life in relationship with God. As Jesus himself said:
“If you make my word your home, indeed will you be my disciples, you will come to know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
What a gift from God that we are all unique and He knows what each of our hearts needs in order to wake us up, grab our attention, and take us further into relationship with Him. How does God grab your attention? Which one of the three calls out to your heart and awakens your soul the most? When you think of the significant experiences of God in your faith journey, and how He speaks to your heart, are they stories of truth, beauty, or goodness?