Today I was trying to have a conversation with a friend about “crisis of faith”. We wrestled with how to translate it into Japanese and settled on shinjoukiki (信条危機). Crises of faith occur when one has a belief system and something happens which challenges fundamentals of that system. A reasonably logical person is then thrown into a state where they need to reevaluate the basis of their belief.
Before I came to Japan I encountered a crisis (or a series of crises) which caused me great distress. Fortunately, I have seen and experienced things that put my faith beyond question, but the distress caused me to hide from certain faith-based issues. Gradually I have been dealing with things and becoming stronger for it, but recently my attention has been drawn to the untended issues. Amusingly, studying more about other religions has reminded me of what I need to do.
Today’s discussion was interesting because I normally don’t want to revisit the pain of the events that led to my crises. Introspection can be helpful, but dwelling on the negative rarely breeds promising results; however, today was special, I found myself discussing some of the pain but only focussing on the miraculous occurrences which protected me. It was a reminder to remember what I call “anchor points”: undeniably miraculous experiences which – when remembered – anchor me to my faith. Like a ship taking refuge in a bay when a severe storm is passing through. All in all, a great conversation.