Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Clout of Doubt


You would think on a hundred-degree day, somebody—something— would be moving on the lake. That’s the thought that dampened our previous enthusiasm and turned our fanciful dreams of buying a lake house into suspicions we were standing on the fishing pier of the Fifth Dimension.

We had decided to explore a nearby lake where, someone told us, there was a pleasant restaurant. A quick online map search gave me the general location. It looked simple enough to find. But after driving for an hour through unpopulated countryside, and not seeing one sign indicating nearby water, we finally found a lone soul outside a post office who redirected us back down the road. “Watch for the turn just past the Mini Mart,” she said.

We turned down a narrow road, otherwise unmarked except for a tiny Lake Dr sign. For the next hour, like kids on a scavenger hunt, we explored unoccupied houses, camps, and lakefront property whose For Sale signs begged us to peer in windows and fantasize what we would do if we owned the place.

“It’s so quiet,” Bob kept repeating, no matter which cove or dock we stood on.
Making our way around to the other shore, we found the shiny, aluminum, public fishing pier jutting out from an empty parking lot. Except for a woman in a bathing suit, who stood at the edge of the water and threw stones and muttered to herself, nothing stirred. Not a boat, not a splashing kid or stick-fetching dog or crumb-seeking duck in sight.

“It’s so quiet,” Bob said again. This time suspicion replaced his previously contented observation. “Something’s weird. Where can you go on a lake in July and not see people in the water?”

I looked down the lake. Scenes from Deliverance tainted my idyllic vision. Like a soap bubble on a blade grass, it burst.

Doubt now determined the course of our conversation on the way home.

“It’s probably really shallow. Looks like leach haven.”

“It’s so remote. Doesn’t take long to get hokey around here.”

When we got home, I looked at an aerial map of the area. Actually, it was quite populated and not so very remote after all. But the damage was done. I had allowed doubt to steal my sense of peace and beauty. And all it took was a seed of suspicion.

“Guard your hearts and minds,” we are told. Doubt is a powerful weapon. The tiniest drop eats at faith like acid.

“Why did you doubt?” The One who made the sun and the stars asked his fearful friend (Matt. 14:31).

Good question. Why do we become so easily sidetracked by doubt when He is—

The Lord [our] God who churns up the sea so that the waves roar. The Lord Almighty is his name. . . who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who says . . . ‘You are my people’(Isa. 51:15-16).

Let’s continue the conversation next time. If you experienced a time that faith triumphed over doubt, please join in.

3 comments:

  1. Yes, doubt and fear quickly steal your sense of peace and joy. That monster sneaks up every chance it gets. Great story. Did you ever find out why the lake was so deserted? And so many houses for sale? I couldn't help but be suspicious as well. Sadly, the world we live in has hidden dangers, and we like sheep must watch out for the wolves.

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  2. I was thinking the same thing as Cecilia...why was it so deserted? I guess we are suspect most of the time when things don't seem to be as we have concluded in our minds they ought to be...interested to hear the rest of the story.

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  3. We're going to sneak back up on it on another day and see what's happening.

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