Monday, March 20, 2006

The Servant of Truth

Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the servant of truth.

Question your convictions, for beliefs too tightly held strangle the mind and its natural wisdom.

Suspect all certitudes, for the world whirls on -- nothing abides.

Yet in our inner rooms full of doubt, inquiry and suspicion, let a corner be reserved for trust.

For without trust there is no space for communities to gather or for friendships to be forged.

Indeed, this is the small corner where we connect -- and reconnect -- with each other.

Source: 1997 UUMA Worship Materials Collection

"There was once a rabbi who was revered by the people as a man of God. Not a day went by when a crowd of people was not standing at his door seeking advice or healing or the holy man’s blessing. And each time the rabbi spoke, the people would hang on his every word, accepting everything he said as the truth.

There was, however, in the audience a fellow who frequently questioned the master. He would question the Rabbi’s word or his opinions often doubting the truth of the Rabbi’s word. The disciples who hung on his every word as the truth were embarrassed for this questioning fellow.

One day this doubter took ill and died. Everyone heaved a sigh of relief. Outwardly they looked appropriately solemn but in their hearts they were glad for no longer would the master’s inspiring talks be questioned or doubted.

So the people were surprised to see the master plunged in genuine grief at the funeral. When asked by a disciple later if he was mourning over the eternal fate of the dead man, he said, “No, no. Why should I mourn over our friend who is now in heaven? It was for myself I was grieving. That man was the only friend I had. Here I am surrounded by people who revere me and always nod “yes” to my every word.. He was the only one who challenged me. I fear that with him gone, I shall stop growing.”


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