Monday, May 4, 2015

I Doubt It

"I doubt it!"
Some of the best words we can ever speak, when it come to things/ideas/peoples/religions/gods that seek to convince us otherwise.
I grew up hearing all kinds of sermons, some of them even good, about the "dangers of doubt." But I always had my doubts.
I went through three confirmation classes in two different churches and declined to join the church each time, until a constellation of factors, including a cute girl, caught my attention and my faith, such as it was.
I remember how I frustrated my 6th grade Sunday School Teacher because I refused to memorize and then say The Apostles' Creed and the LORD's Prayer, because, I said, "there was no value in simply memorizing them." 
I've since memorized both, and am grateful, but grateful, too, for that 6th grade boy who had his own brand of integrity.
I remember reading a great sermon, was it by Fosdick, "Time to Doubt Your Doubts," or something like that.
Well, if we're going to doubt, it's likely a wise thing to doubt everything, even our doubts.
Though I don't doubt that the earth revolves around the sun and the universe is very, very, old. Nor do I doubt my wife's love and that of my children, nor do I doubt the fact that I'm tired right now because I got up way too early this morning.
But let me get back to the central issue - doubt is the energy of learning ... doubt clears the way for faith, which is often strangled to death by certainty. Because faith is faith, never a done deal, faith always needs doubt like a garden needs digging and weeding and pruning.
When I'm certain that the new restaurant is down such-and-such a street is likely when I can't find it. A little doubt really helps, especially if I then ask D for some help: "Where's that dadgum restaurant?" Because mostly she knows things when I don't.
Seriously, doubt is the best friend God has when it comes to working the magic of love in our lives. 
Doubt allows God to sneak up on us, and God loves doing that.
Doubt cleans out the closest of old clothing from the last decade, or the last century, or the last millennium or two. Not that we're then left with nothing; not at all, because the Spirit is continually creating new stuff - new stuff to try on to see if it fits, how it looks on us, and if others like it, too. New stuff that has connections to the best stuff from long ago, but revised, adjusted, altered to be fresh and lively.
I doubt if I need to go on any more with this ...