Friday, November 16, 2007

march: the power of doubt

wilsonian warned me about “slow reading” the book Today at the Mission. And it’s true. Usually I whiz through books the same way I whiz through life. But try reading a post about the Green Eyed Girl, who watches as the family shelter – the only place she calls home – is dismantled in front of her eyes due to budget cuts. Read that post. Reflect on it. Think about how “she eyes me warily, they way you or I might eye an airline passenger with a gun.” Read it again. And cry.

Makes me wonder… what if I tried “slow reading” life as well?

Anyway… in the month of march, [rhymes with kerouac] continues to write about what it means to be the hands and feet in Christ in a wounded world… and the thought that I keep coming back to is summed up in a single phrase:

The way forward, in fact, is always through doubt.
A few month’s ago, there was a great deal of news about Mother Theresa and her doubts. Decades of frustration, seeking the God who would not come. But she never stopped comforting others or inspiring devotion to Jesus.
Do we make a difference in anyone’s life? Do we matter?
Perhaps Mother Theresa asked the same questions as [rwk]. At times, felt the same emptiness. A world of unanswered questions. But the point is – they both demonstrated faith not in spite of these doubts – but because of it.

Maybe, if we don’t have doubts – we are not trying hard enough.

There so much about God I don’t understand, but rarely does the size and magnitude of God leave me with doubts. After all… being a good person and reading your Bible and giving up a few hours for people I don’t know is not exactly that tough. I don’t sit there and say “Gee, I have some doubt on whether raking that old lady's house is a good idea.” And the answer, I believe, is not that I am a man of great faith… but I am simply not pushing my faith to the limit often enough.

Not to say I’ve never had doubt. About three years ago I left a business I had started and grown because I wanted to salvage a relationship with my business partner. God was very much involved in that decision. But there were times when I felt I was doing all the right things and still ending up with all the wrong results. I had doubts, but persisted through them. I trusted in the Lord. And perhaps, it is the one time in my life I have truly gone forward through doubt.

But must days are not like that. Most days are easy. And most days, I imagine, I am not moving forward.

So my prayer for today is a bit risky – but I ask God, please put me in a situation where I must doubt again.


wilsonian said...

Good word, Ed.
Hard word, but so good.

Anonymous said...

slow reading life...thoughtful.