Lessons I Have Learned From Doubting Thomas
I can really relate to the apostle Thomas. Doubting, questioning, wondering; these are all things that I have become comfortable with as my faith journey has matured. Questions and doubts used to scare me. But no more. I recall a Confirmation Service I attended at a local Episcopalian Church. Speaking to the Confirmation Candidates, the Bishop used the story of doubting Thomas to remind them that their faith journey need not be cut and dry, that it is not only normal but absolutely essential that we sometimes have doubts. Questioning things we learn is not a sign of weakness but a sign of curiosity, interest, and thoughtfulness. I realize that this is scary for many folks and that questioning the status quo can cause a bit of anxiety. But it can also be very freeing as you come to know that you cannot know everything. And that is okay.
As I study, pray, and contemplate I find myself thinking things like, “How can this be? Did it really happen exactly this way? What if it means this instead of that?” This mindfulness sends me on a path of curiosity and questioning, and in doing so I am drawn deeper and deeper into my relationship with the amazing Divine Mystery. Key word: MYSTERY. It’s all a beautiful mystery. We can’t possibly know everything. Nor do we have to. This is where we are guided by faith and we realize that loving God does not require of us absolute certainty, knowledge, or proof. We can rest in the assurance that our desire to be constantly present in God’s presence is enough. How utterly freeing!
Finally, the Bishop encouraged the confirmation candidates not to panic or fear when the doubts arise. And I might add, ” Don’t run away! Lean into it, embrace it, suffer through it, learn from it.” What may come is a great sense of wonder and awe. And a certainty that you are not God, which is something worthy of being certain about!
We come to our yoga mats not absolutely certain about what it going to happen. But that uncertainty does not paralyze us nor keeps us from experiencing the blessings of our practice. We trust, we breathe, and we take the next step into the mystery.
And one more thing, Going forward, if you don’t receive an email from me each week, it doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten you or I am not around. Since our Lenten/Easter Yoga Series has come than end, my email will be on less regular schedule to as not to overwhelm your inbox. And I will always notify you if a class is cancelled.