Thursday, February 05, 2009

Do You Want to Know the Truth?

Over the weekend my son and I watched the movie The Prestige, a murder mystery involving two rival magicians. Besides having some twists and turns that left us wondering who was who, and what exactly had happened, it also included a great line.

The movie begins and ends with an older illusionist performing a disappearance trick for a little girl. As he does, his voice narrates in the background, the 3 stages of a magic trick. At the end of his closing monologue he explains that, once a trick is over, you (the audience) begin looking for the secret, but won’t find it because you were never looking for it in the first place. You don’t really want to know the truth. As the old man says in the chilling final frame, “You want to be fooled.”

Later I thought; how often do we want to be fool? As twisted as it sounds, sometimes it’s more fun to be deceived. As long as we maintain the illusion we can pretend that everything is okay when it’s not, that we’re living the Christian life when we’re actually rebelling, that we’re dating a great guy when we know deep down that he’s all wrong for us, that what we are doing to our bodies or filling our minds with isn’t harmful.

I couldn’t help reflecting on times when I chose to enjoy the illusion. When I struggled with an eating disorder and self-injury, my tricks involved lies, excuses and baggy clothes. While dating a guy who treated me badly I bragged about his good points to cover up the bad. Now I'm recognizing that, when things get too painful or hard, I hide behind an illusion of humor to avoid exposing my fears, doubts and tears. Sure, it keeps me sane when life is anything but, and makes me more fun to talk to, but it's still a cover-up. At least some of the time.
In each case I was (or am) usually only deceiving myself. I think I’m putting one over on those who care about me. Later I learn that they were just being a polite audience, waiting for my mask to fall off.

So what are your illusions? What truth would you rather not see? Jesus promised that the truth (meaning His truth) would set us free. Think back on times when the truth has freed you and ask Him to do it one more time. Believe me; the truth only takes the fun out of magic tricks. In life, it brings benefits, including a new level of enjoyment

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Wow, this was so honest and real. Very good stuff. : )