Doubt as a hobby
For better or for worse, another consequence of the hobby system of doubting is that, like a dream deferred, there is a chance of explosion. As we perpetually delay going through the accumulated doubts in our spiritual basement, they come to fill the shelves and floorspace. Eventually, there is no more room and the room erupts, flowing into all other aspects of our life. There is no way to contain the doubts anymore, they are too many and too powerful. Our hobby has taken over our life, like an addiction to video games. We may never leave the basement again.
This seems to often be the conclusion of the hobby/doubt system. The thing is that doubt appears to actually be necessary. In this, I don't mean the idealized doubt of the easily satisfied, wherein one reads a single passage of scripture and is suddently convinced of the way, the truth, and the life. God's victories are not so cheaply wrought. Instead, I mean real doubt, the kind that comes from ordinary life. Perhaps it may be the result of years of basement doubts; perhaps it is the result of one horrific event. In any case, all people, at one point or another, are brought to doubt, real doubt, not something affected. Who is this God and what does he think he is doing? Real doubt isn't about how we approach God; it is rather about God himself, life itself, and the meaning we derive therefrom.
We may sometime find ourselves at a point where all of our life has stopped making sense; where clocks starting ticking backwards and dogs walk on their hind legs. Everything that you knew and know is wrong. In the grip of this doubt, there is no turning away or setting aside. One cannot help but make the hole where one's life was a focus. In the midst of this doubt, we may be presented with a choice: to believe. In particular, the choice is to believe when you don't really have any good reasons for so doing. In this moment, if you choose to believe and choose to continue in belief, you will find a new sort of life, one wherein doubt plays a minimal role and God abides with you. Of this, I have no doubt.
Posted by John C.