Monday, October 03, 2005

Shades of Grey

As I Christian, I often want to think in "black" and "white." I want absolutes. Honestly, it's not that repugnant of a demand, is it? After all, being a Christian means that I believe in One Absolute Truth. Having one's world set to the tune of a single Truth, the desire to see everything else meted out as "good" or "bad" really isn't all that strange.

However, the more I learn about this faith, the more I learn that Truth is not so much a line dividing "right" and "wrong," but more a beacon of light, a focal point from which light emits, illuminating those objects closest to the light and falling short on things further from it. The further we progress from the light, the darker, fuzzier, less clear objects (or objectives) become. The light doesn't just drop off, like an ocean floor, though. It gradually fades into the darkness; gradually succumbs to shades of grey.

So are the decisions and choices we make day in and out. Sometimes, they are brought into the light, shown for their true worth (good or bad). Sometimes they are too far into the darkness to explore or pursue, lest we lose ourselves in the darkness, as well. No, Truth isn't the fulcrum of a seesaw, it is a lighthouse island in the middle of the ocean.

Nothing on this earth is purely good or purely evil. There is always a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Take those schools in Georgia who shut down due to gas prices. People were enraged, were they not? I can hear the initial reactions (even in my own head), "Education should not have to suffer so you can save a buck!!!" But, what do you think that buck saved went to pay for? If those buses continued to run and guzzle gas at such significant prices, how deeply would it cut into the school budget? What program would suffer for the cost of gas? With public education funding already stretched tightly across the nation, what would a gouge like that do to an already slim budget?

There are so many sides to everything. So few choices between right and wrong these days. How can we really expect to stand on a line and dole out decisions to the left or the right? No, I believe there are many shades of grey to investigate; many levels of light and dark.