Monday, February 23, 2015

Faith Crisis and Rediscovery: When Clarity Disappears and Unexpected Murkiness Surrounds

In a discussion once about Pres. Hinckley's statement that everything will work out in the end, someone said the following: 

“The worst that can happen is you die.”

Actually, in extreme situations, the worst that can happen is you live.

I love President Hinckley, and I think I understand and agree, ultimately, with what he was saying, but I also understand that much of what we believe we believe from a position of relative luxury and grace. Our theology encompasses the extremes, but (the collective) we seldom experiences those extremes – so we speak in platitudes that fit our non-extreme lives.

Often, those platitudes hurt people at or near the extremes, and, often, we can’t fathom why. Thus, faith trials and crises often arise when our general platitudes smack up against unexpected life and lose. Re-evaluating things we took for granted can be difficult – and, often, the most difficult situations are those where the former assumptions were believed the most passionately and deeply.

When clarity disappears and unexpected murkiness surrounds, faith is necessary – and, sometimes, it’s not so much losing faith as losing previous sight and having to discover pure faith (hope in the unseen) for the first time.


Anonymous said...

Yes Ray, you nailed it there. Suddenly everything is up for grabs, and it's hard to know on what we stand. That's when we begin to define our own testimonies.

Rosalie Erekson Stone said...

What a beautiful way you have approached the issue of needing to re-evaluate things we may have taken for granted. I realize that because I learned long ago about many aspects of church history which are only now becoming more generally known, I have been “losing previous sight” and developing more “pure faith” very frequently over the past 50 years.
By re-framing the dilemma of finding oneself in murkiness as a chance to seek pure faith and let go of false assumptions, you present it as an opportunity to grow closer to God. As we do that, we usually find a measure of peace, even in the midst of continued murkiness.