“Connections” – Philly Cheesesteak–Not

seitan-cheese-steakI’m at a restaurant in Philadelphia, so of course I have to order a Philly cheesesteak sandwich. Hot and tasty, it’s the best Philly cheesesteak sandwich I have ever had.

Then my friend realizes we’re in a vegan restaurant. Vegan? As in no meat, no dairy? Yup. The cheesesteak I think I’m chewing is really seitan, a wheat gluten-based meat substitute. What?

A fake sandwich. But… But… Even though it’s fake, it’s still the best Philly cheesesteak sandwich I’ve ever eaten!

This amazes me because even after I learn that my sandwich is made of fake meat, I do not care that it’s fake. It’s delicious. If given the chance, I’ll order another one next time.

Then it hits me. “Wow, people do a lot of things like this—like buying something they think is genuine then finding out it’s a knock-off.”

And being me, I suspect the biggest way people do this is in the things they believe. People can buy into an ideology or religion that seems really good—like a cheesesteak sandwich. The whole time they think, this is great! Then they find out it’s a substitute.

No matter how good a false belief may seem, nothing can make it true.

This is not about judging; it’s about discerning truth. If God is who he says he is, all other truth claims will either align or oppose. And the consequences of ultimate beliefs that prove false are incalculably greater than those of my cheesesteak sandwich.

Ultimate truths and realities are far more important than many people choose to recognize. How sure are you about the truth of your beliefs?