Monday, August 1, 2011

the new black.

My Canadian friend Jen, gave me an fantastic gift this summer. It was a running shirt, made specifically for ultra hot environments, it had an SPF of 50, the ability to wick the sweat away and it was light so light. But I had doubts, see this shirt was  Black fabrics attract the heat and make you hotter and yet this black shirt, was made specifically for running in hot environments? 

All my life I knew black attracts heat. My premise for doubting this shirt was valid. I had a lifetime of wearing black shirts as proof. I had my doubts but the label in the shirt informed me that this technical fabric was called cold black, and somehow it actually made you cooler when you wore it in the sun. I wondered if Jen might have gotten caught by a marketing ploy, I had my doubts, many of them but I put my new "cold black" shirt into my suitcase to wait for a Bahamian test "run". 

Fast forward to the present, I return to the Bahamas and eagerly await the first day I could run in my new shirt. The day arrives, the temperatures were in the mid 90s with an even higher humidex. Perfect I thought, I will put this shirt to the test and either it will impress me or kill me. Either way, I find out. Now I have to be honest, I took a short route for the test, I was a bit fearful that if it did what I thought it would do and attract the heat I would be risking heat stroke and wanted to stay closer to home. Doubt had me in its grasp but I did not want to stay there, so off I went on my test run.

Guess what, that cold black shirt did work. It actually felt cooler than any other running shirt I had used before. I have now used it twice and am seriously thinking about buy stock in the company and then having all clothes fashioned out of this seemingly magical technical "cold black" material.

 If I had run with a shirt that actually attracts the heat in such weather it would have been at best uncomfortable and at most very hazardous. So what was the benefit of my doubt?  The benefit of my doubt was that had I fully believed in something I had never before experienced I would have failed to noticed the benefit of this new fabric. I would have given credit for my increased comfort to my hydration level, rested legs or super ability to run. Doubt had a place, it showed me the truth by letting me experience it. Doubt forced me to make a decision, stay with what I believed and never try the shirt or to admit that perhaps I do not have the market on truth about black fabric and to try something new. 

 Doubts are natural and important to acknowledge. If a person has never doubted their faith, or beliefs I have to wonder if they have investigated it on their own terms. In order to full grasp or experience something you need to test it out like I did with my cold black shirt. 

Most of us are afraid of doubts, thinking they are the first sign of a downward slip of their faith. I tend to see doubts as the first sign of a potential growth in your faith. Doubting hurts, it is uncomfortable and most people will rarely admit they are in doubt. But doubting also forces you to confront and experience what truth is, and my friends, truth will always come forward, and it is beautiful. Asking tough questions and facing tough realities forces us to come face to face with our doubt and then if we push further and allow truth to speak to it you will experience hope and faith like we have never experienced before. 

The bible tells us to taste and see that the Lord is good. Many of us have doubts that God is good but few of us  have given truth a chance to inform us any differently. My experience with the cold black shirt reminded me that I get stuck in my own learned ideas of what reality is and rarely give truth a chance to speak differently into my life. Tasting to see is a position of vulnerability we must assume. We cannot assume we have the market on truth about God, He is far to vast for anyone to claim they entirely know Him. Tasting to see makes us lay down what we have claimed as our own truth and give truth back its own voice and speak in to our lives. Today, my friends, recognize your doubts, do not be afraid of them but instead allow them to challenge you to taste and see what truth is wanting to tell you. 

shine on my friends!

the truth will set you free John 8:32 
taste and see the Lord is good Psalm 34:8

No comments:

Post a Comment