To ask about God not to doubt

By Clyde Davis: Local Columnist

My religious conservative friend said: Pray about it. Go to Wednesday night service, and go to the altar. Place it before the Lord. He spoke my name at prayer requests

My Roman Catholic friend said: Go to communion service. Even though you are not Catholic, go and light a candle. Pray to St. Jude. He lit a candle for me at Mass.

My friend who practices Native American faith said: Go to sweat lodge. Have a healing ceremony, and follow the dance and the drums. Allow the Spirit to purify you. He burnt sage and sweetgrass for me.

The question in my mind, in response to all of these, was simply whether or not there was a problem. The issue, you see, was questioning, seeking. So is that a problem?

Questioning of the Divine is not rebellion, anymore than a child who asks her parent for reasons is in rebellion. A child, in his growth, reaches a stage where he aks for reasons. This does not show rebellion, but rather increasing awareness.

Questioning is not cynicism. Cynicism assumes that there is no answer, or that the answer will be negative. Questioning believes there is an answer, but that because of our limits, not the Divine’s, we are journeying toward it. Indeed, our life is the journey; in this reality, we will not arrive completely.

Questioning may not find concretes too acceptable. In this stage of spiritual growing, the absolutes are not always tangible. Does that mean the Divine is not absolute? No, it means we are not absolute in our comprehension.

Questioning is not doubt, though they may be siblings. Questioning slants toward the positive; doubt slants toward the negative. Nonetheless, believers sometimes doubt, and this is not a bad thing nor a cause for dismay.

In this season of Advent, we may find ourselves questioning, in relation to our faith. What is the reality behind the season; why does society still go on warring during the Advent of the Prince of Peace? What is the true impact of the Nativity; where are the angels in our world?

It is human, and understandable, to want easy answers.

However, the Divine One did not create us simplistically; rather, we were created in a more complex design. To seek and be satisfied with easy answers is like a world class athlete playing high school ball. Spiritually, we are made to be world class athletes.

May your Advent be a time of joyful seeking, questioning, discovering.

Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University. He can be contacted at:
clyde_davis@yahoo.com