Monday, 24 January 2011


A brief moment bound up in a couple of exchanged comments with Dr Bex Lewis has provided something of the last straw for me. No, she has said nothing to upset me, just nudged me to write about something very close to my heart that I regard as the shadow in me that I seek to avoid, or at the least look away from.

I don't have a great deal of time for guilt as a pastime. I see no point in it, no sense in it, and regard it as an emotional millstone that for some comes with a set of halogen lights to attract best attention. It takes effort to carry, brings with it no collateral gain, and is just not a phenomenon I can be too involved with! Make a mistake, live with it, learn from it, move on. Life is a moment more 'over' than it was just then. Waste none of it ...

However, I have my own millstone. It is one that I think is largely universal, but in the circles that I mix in - Christian ones, ordained ones - it is 'an inconvenient truth' for many. But I have to say in clearest terms, that there are times when I have doubts about it all. 

My doubt has a catastrophic face. It isn't a doubt about the virgin birth, the resurrection, angels or anything like that. No, my doubt is bigger. I have little moments, my bubbles of 'nothing', where what I believe the other 525,540 minutes of the year, seems like the greatest pile of nonsense ever thought up. It feels like a hoax, that actually, of course we are just an accident of chemicals and energies a fortunate distance from a star. How on Earth do dead people become not dead? How the dickens can a women hold a child without exchange of cells with another human? I have moments where I am convinced that I have got it all very very wrong indeed. Oddly, that is when I feel guilty - not for thinking the thoughts, but that I have been complicit in the greatest con ever known. These moments happen, not often, but they do. 

Then they pass. Doubt can be less catastrophic in its ankle-pecking for me too. I encounter 'blog despondency' (I am not alone) more than you might imagine. This is about the sheer presumption of hoping that even one person would read what I write. Such laudable blogs exists, and there is a list to the left of these words - yet I presume to add my  two pennyworth. Even pleasing 'results' don't assuage that one always. The dog-collar thing is another one. There are times when I feel like I am in fancy-dress, that this retailer will wake back up and be back counting rugs, like he should be. This priesthood lark is too good to be true, and at times, that translates into ' it can't be'. I would hate to suggest that God made a mistake, but days come around where I wonder if he broke his duck with me (assuming we overlook the Fiat Multipla). 

I will post this in the morning, at the start of a new day. Today has been a good day, and the culmination of a wonderful weekend completely devoid of doubt. Why am I writing about this now? Partly Dr Lewis, partly because if I tried to write about this on a 'bubbles' day, I'd probably delete this blog outright.


  1. I have my dancing with doubt days, too. When you build your life around your faith, it's less of a dance than a plummet into a big black hole of 'aargh!' I spend my life trying to learn how not be afraid of my doubt.

    I have slightly less catastrophic moments too, when I'm suddenly struck with incredulity at the whole of existence. This is when my husband starts rolling his eyes at me - I start saying things like 'look at my hand. Isn't it strange? I have a hand. I exist.' The world kind of stretches and then goes 'boing' in my head. It's not the same as the doubt moments, but it has a it.

    I do know ONE other person who does this, which is something of a relief.

    And yes, I've been known to suffer from blog despondency, too.

  2. I have these odd - and thankfully brief - moments, usually when we are doing something in Church which might be regarded as odd or wierd anywhere else (washing feet and/or having ash daubed on our foreheads come to mind) when I think,"Blimey, if there isn't a God that we are doing this for, we must look pretty silly!"

    So, for many reasons, not least that one, I rely on Him to be there. Best not to question that because therein lies the proof of one's own insanity.


  3. You are not alone. I get these moments too, but I think that's part of faith isn't it? Something I find comforting is that 'doubt' is just that - a passing doubt - it isn't unbelief, just a simple questioning of all that we believe. Which, if you ask me, is actually rather healthy isn't it?
    Couldn't agree more about that awful car too... ;)

  4. Good to see you back, Red! You have given a helpful perspective to all of this. I have regarded moments of doubt as a lack of something, perhaps overstating in so doing. You are right, a doubt infers having something, and yes - a lack of doubt would perhaps be more of a worry!

  5. thank you :) I always read even if I don't comment or write!



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