One of the things that annoys me about my religion (Christianity) is that lip service is given to doubt. Doubt is put forth from the pulpit as something we all have, but just like an addiction, the church likes you better if you are already over it. You aren’t expected to keep doubt with you. You struggle with it, then decide what the church teaches is right and get over it. But to have doubt that stays is dangerous. Doubt is like a virus or a bacteria that can infect others around you and that can endanger the village, which can endanger the city, state and world. Doubt that is in the past however, is a different story. It’s now a story of redemption, of overcoming, of faith. But it’s not is alive. And if it isn’t alive it can’t threaten anyone or anything.
Because of this, doubt is rarely ever talked about except in the most abstract of terms. And this abstraction means there is no ability to wrestle with actual real doubts about anything. Say you have doubts, ok. Say specifics, not ok. And if you can’t say what you REALLY have doubts about, is that really great faith?
Great faith meanwhile is extolled and talked about all the time in church. It’s the mountaintop to which we all wish to ascend. It’s the most admirable of qualities. You can talk all day about the specifics of your faith and it is embraced because there is no threat involved. But is that really great faith?
The key for me then is the third essential. What is critical, before you have great faith or great doubt, is to have great perseverance. Just as an artist won’t create consistently great work without great perseverance, so to we humans will not produce great doubt and faith without it as well.
Drawing and commentary © Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
Quote is a Zen Proverb