DOUBT: from Michael McCarthy’s Blog
Lately, I’ve been feeling doubt. I am not so sure anymore. Am I kidding myself? I know all too well my foibles and shortcomings. I am an actor, at best. And I am a fraud, at worst. I really know very little about theology – the subject I teach. I put my own spin on things anyway to make it seem that I know what I am talking about. I fear I’ll be exposed.
Who am I? You must be joking. It’s time to grow up. Be an adult and do the right thing. As my wife has been known to say to our son (somewhat in jest), “it’s time to put on your big boy pants.” Yes, I’ll go back in front of the class. In a month or so, over 125 new students will walk into room 21. Here we go again. What do I dare do? Can I let go of my ego? Can I see into the eyes of each new student? For sure, I’ll come with my well-prepared and sophisticated lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, glut of information, textbook assignments, new jokes, old tricks, and whatever else may come to mind. I’ll be ready. But who am I? Can I dare myself enough to really let go. Do I confront my uncertainty? Do I admit, at least to myself, my utter failings? Can I stop pretending?
“I do not need to see myself, I merely need to be myself,” states the great spiritual thinker Thomas Merton. It seems so simple, but I do not know if I can do this. I have my doubts.