Despite all denials of truth as a category, people still hunger for it and the real question that haunts us is not whether truth exists, but whether it is worth it at all.
On August 7, 1961, a twenty-six year old Soviet cosmonaut named Gherman Titov became the second Soviet to orbit the earth and return safely. Some time later he recounted his experience while speaking at the World’s Fair. In triumphalistic tones Titov declared that on his excursion into space, he looked for God but didn’t find him. Someone humorously quipped, “Had he stepped out of his spacecraft, he certainly would have.” Titov, of course, had moved beyond the discipline of technological gain to draw theological blood. One great step for science became an immensely greater leap in philosophy.
Years later on Christmas day, 1968, three American astronauts were the first human beings to go around the “dark” side of the moon. They saw earth rise over the horizon of the moon draped in a beauteous mixture of blue and white, garlanded by the glistening light of the sun against the black void of space. Captured by the awe of the moment, they echoed the only words that seemed fitting. Those words were from the first line of the bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…”
Two similar experiences of awe and splendor, yielding two diametrically opposed conclusions. These two incidents carried off into space the most debated question on earth: Does God exist? The answer to that question has a greater bearing on your life than anything else. Personal and national destinies are inextricably bound to this issue. Our entire human frame of moral reference is determined by whether or not God exists. Our purpose in life is determined by that, whether we are here by design or whether we are the accidental collocation of atoms. Who we are and why we exist logically flows from the question of God’s existence.
The question, therefore, is not whether the pursuit of truth is worth it or not, but that it is the only thing that is ultimately worth it. Winston Churchill said the most valuable thing in the world is the truth; so valuable that it has often been barricaded by a bodyguard of lies. But we might ask, “What’s wrong with a lie?” For one, we would think it is morally wrong, would we not? But how can we be morally wrong unless this is a moral universe? And how can this be a moral universe unless it is created by God? The intelligibility in this universe and the immense capacity of the moral law.
What is more, we don’t have to go into outer space to find him. He comes to you in your inner space, the inner space of your life. Jesus said, “if any man comes to me, I will in no wise cast him out.” In knowing Him, you find truth and life. That is worth it.
Copyright (p)(c) 2000 Ravi Zacharias
International Ministries (RZIM)