SUNDAY TRAVELER: Doubt
By Megan Niedringhaus
Chameleon Religion Blogger
No one likes doubt. It’s seen as a sign of weakness, lack of resolution, or simply unacceptable. Doubt is a scary thing. It creeps up on us, and leads us to wonder if what we believed to be true actually is.
Doubt is scary not necessarily because we question our beliefs, but because it’s so isolating. Doubt makes us feel as though we are the only one with questions, the only one who is unsure. When we doubt, it seems as though we are the only one, like we’re standing away from everyone else, watching as those around us seem so sure of who they are and what they believe.
But the key to controlling our doubt is not letting it control us. The thing is, doubt can be liberating, in some ways. Without doubt, it would become exceedingly difficult to grow in our faith, and to truly understand why we believe what we do (or don’t). The difficult part is knowing when to simply be okay with experiencing a period of doubt, and remember that everyone doubts their beliefs, their relationships, and even themselves at one point or another. Doubt is universal.
The author and playwright John Patrick Shanley describes doubt and the solidarity that comes with it perfectly. “Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty. When you are lost, you are not alone.”
That thought is so striking to me. Even when we are lost, we aren’t alone. Even if we feel all is lost, and everyone has abandoned us, perhaps even God, we are not alone.
We are never alone.
Megan Niedringhaus’s “Sunday Traveler” blog is published every Sunday.