I’m supposed to be finishing a psychology research report just now but instead i find myself writing a blog post for the first time in months, so why not. I guess it could be a long night!
Fact: I don’t find being a Christian easy. In fact, it’s probably the thing i find most difficult in life. (other than maybe getting up early…i reallllllly don’t do mornings!) I am a natural doubter. It is who i am, it’s part of what makes me ‘me’. I over-analyse and i doubt, everything. People, things, myself, and God.
When they talk about doubting God in church sermons they tend to talk about it as thought the doubts are there because we can’t see God. As in, he’s not doing what we want him to do, or because circumstances in our lives have got so bad that we can’t see how he’s still there. That’s not the case for me. Nothing especially bad has happened (touch wood!!), and at the minute at least, i’m not stuck for plans. I know where my life is at for the minute, so that’s not where my issue is. The issue i have is with the bigger picture of it all. The thought of there being an omnipotent, omnipresent, benevolent God overseeing everything in the world sometimes seems far too far fetched for my little brain to handle. (I know, the bible says [i think?] that God is supposed to be bigger and more complex than our mere minds could ever comprehend, but that still doesn’t sit so well with me) I struggle, probably daily, with doubts of it all being a load of rubbish. If i go to pray, my subconscious whispers that i’m just talking to myself. When i’m sitting in church singing a hymn, again my mind tries to convince me that the words i’m singing aren’t really true. I can’t help it, it’s just the way my brain seems to function.
“you’re closer than the tiny thoughts i have of you, but i could never fathom you at all”
I’m studying philosophy at uni and the first topic of this semester was philosophy of Religion. It is safe to say that this did not help with the doubting, and in fact probably added more doubts to my mind. I had to write an essay either agreeing or disagreeing with some guy (Norman Malcolm, for anyone who is remotely interested), who claimed that Religious belief was groundless. I.e, it needs no justification or concrete evidence. Now, the ‘Christian’ part of my brain should have been inclined to agree, at least to an extent (even if his theories and justification for the claim weren’t great, in my opinion anyway), since really, other than the bible and a lot of subjective ‘evidence’, religious beliefs are largely built upon faith, not evidence. So it should seem logical that we don’t need grounds.
However, i argued the other side. Partly because it gave me more to say in the essay, but also because to my doubting mind, it was far easier and felt far more natural to argue against religion, and the concept that there need be no grounds for the beliefs we hold. Because frankly, it does seem crazy to me a lot of the time that we have no real proof. i like proof and evidence for things, and christianity’s lack of it scares me sometimes. It seems easy enough for me to believe that things can indeed just be coincidence.
“let your love work it’s way into my heart”
But, and there is a but to this, I am almost certain that i will never gain a credible faith if i don’t put my blind faith in God and believe, or force myself to believe, that he does indeed exist. And this kind of blind faith scare me even more, because so much of my brain is telling me that it’s silly, far fetched, made up. But i’m going to believe. And those moments that happen when i know he’s right there? They’re the ones i’m going to believe to be true, and work from there. Not the doubts. The song lyrics dotted throughout the post, but particularly these last ones, have come on shuffle tonight and have stuck in my head, probably for a reason.
“So i’m throwing out words i don’t fully understand
i could be talking to myself but i don’t think i am,
cos you’re always there through the fight
saving my heart from the doubt inside…
There’s too much at stake and i’m tired of faking,
I just wanna be real..”