Monday, April 5, 2021

Doubt and Ants and Thomas

This coming Sunday is sometimes called Doubting Thomas Sunday due to the fact that the story of  his initial encounter with the Risen Jesus is marked by doubt.  Often Thomas is castigated by preachers for being a doubter.  Yet I have always thought of him as more of a realist.  I mean, really, if you were told someone you loved had suddenly reappeared after being killed in such a violent fashion, wouldn't you have doubts about the veracity of the claim?

Doubt is a funny thing, though, it can get in the way of our taking necessary action.  It can paralyze us.  In twelve-step programs like alcoholics anonymous they talk about analysis paralysis. I know i get caught up in such thinking from time-to-time, weighing the alternatives, doubting this or that element of a situation.  Doubt can be a real problem.

On the other hand, doubt can stir us to clearer thinking and better decisions.  Even in matters of faith.  Maybe especially in matters of faith.  Author and preacher Frederick Buechner once said, "Doubts are the ants in rhe pants of faith.  They keep it awake and moving."   True enough!  After all, it is said once Thomas' doubts were addressed, he went on to carry the good news all the way to India! 
So maybe this year, we can lay off poor Thomas, and thank him for making it easier for us to admit our doubts, our concerns, our worries.