On Doubts and Crying

Doubts

This morning, during my usual prayer time, I cried. It didn’t last long. But it was a powerful release from deep inside. I admit that I’ve been under a little stress lately. And I had a bit of a disagreement with the wife last night. So I was emotionally exhausted.

Maybe it was because of this that I began to wonder, again, about whether or not God actually hears my prayers. Do my prayers just echo into emptiness? I continued this line of questioning and thinking until eventually, I broke down.

What if I’ve been living according to a false belief? That Christianity is a fairytale and just a tool I use to cope with the troubles and uncertainty of life…of death? That the reality is that we each define our own truth. We adopt a belief that is most helpful and meaningful in our own lives. And maybe Carl Sagan was right all along when he said, “The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be” and it’s pointless to believe in anything beyond this.

I was both saddened and terrified that it might all be true.

But after that brief moment of distress, I thought, So what! If it’s all true, what would I have lost by living according to Christian beliefs? We all just end up living for what brings us, for lack of a better term, the feeling. That is, we do what gives us a sense of joy, peace, fulfillment, satisfaction. Even those who sacrifice and suffer for certain causes do it because of this. For example, albeit extreme, what parent wouldn’t suffer to save the life of one of their children. The suffering isn’t enjoyable. But the knowledge that their child is safe is what brings them the feeling. So who’s to deny the Christian her right to the feeling even if it is all based on a lie.

Here’s what’s infinitely more frightening to me. That I choose to live by Dr. Sagan’s belief but he ends up being completely wrong. And, Christianity is just what it claims to be–the Truth. We all know what impact that has when our time on this planet comes to an end.

But what about Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Stoicism, and all the other religions, beliefs, and philosophies? Maybe one of them is the “real” truth. Maybe none of them. But that’s the point. None of it is provable from any perspective, scientific or otherwise. You’ll end up spending your entire life searching for the truth. It all comes down to how deep your conviction is. It comes down to faith. Therefore, I choose Christianity. Doubts and all.

My doubts about Christianity might creep in once in a while. Maybe they’ll never go away. Maybe it’s just part of the process of growing one’s faith. That each time your doubts arise, and you subsequently choose to quash them, your faith gets stronger–more of the truth is revealed. I don’t know. All I know is that this morning, I cried.