Updated: Sep 13, 2020
At the end of John 13 and beginning of John 14, Jesus is preparing his disciples for his eventual departure. They are full of doubts, asking him where he is going and why they can’t come. Jesus replies that they should have faith, that they will be provided for.
But Thomas still asks, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
The disciples, like us, were just human beings and in them we have a model of how Jesus responds to our very human doubts and fears. Reading his responses helps me when I feel steeped in my own doubt.
Sitting in prayer, reading scripture with others, and being a part of a Christian community is a starting point to knowing if we are even standing on the path. These practices allow us to better hear God’s voice. They build our spiritual awareness.
Then at some point, we have to make a decision about what to do next. I am often overcome with doubt afterwards. I wonder if I might have made the wrong choice or if maybe I didn’t hear well enough. How can I know if I am still headed along the path that God has crafted for me?
One early spring weekend back in New England, I decided to go backpacking on the Appalachian trail for the weekend, just my dog and me. I drove to a secluded parking lot. There were no other cars or hikers in sight. I let the dog off her leash to r