Question from a reader : With all that has gone on in your life, how do you keep your faith?
Well actually this was another person who knows me reasonably ok. Well at least knows of my life situation as we have talked.
How do I keep my faith? Honestly, I don’t even know if I truly do keep my faith in the way that many people would consider “keeping of faith.”
After all what really is faith?
Faith as defined by Merriam Webster:
“ (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion”
Well according to this really you can have one without the other. A belief in G-d can occur without believing in the traditional doctrines of the religion in question. And I know a lot of people who claim to believe much of the doctrine but YET identify as atheist. I know Hassidic Jews who claim to be atheist! Don’t ask me how that works out as I don’t know.
That still doesn’t answer how I am dealing with faith and how I keep faith.
As a matter of fact, when I was converting one of the bigger things I admitted having a problem with was faith. See, I am a scientist by training so it’s difficult for me to put that faith out there. And on top of that I am not very trusting so people are asking me to trust an invisible force that I cannot prove. Seriously?
However, something I have learned is that so far everything that I have been promised when I was arguing with HaShem or meditating has come to pass sooner or later with the exception of getting into medical school. That is the only thing that had it’s time moved.
When it comes down to it, the worst things in my life should be over. There is not a lot that HaShem can take from me that I won’t survive. I have survived worse. I have books that have taught me how to survive when I need to go out and get my own food. I know how to get water. I know how to find or make a shelter. I know how to make candles. I know basically most of the skills needed in order to just… disappear for a while. I even know how to make an anti-seizure medication! All I need is electricity for my laptop and phone and really it is just a matter of time before I learn how to build a generator or I can just bring my computer to restaurants and such and charge there. Not like I haven’t done that before. I don’t even need electricity at night most of the time.
I think that knowledge that I can be self sufficient if I need to be is what gives me a little bit of faith. As Rabbi Avraham Chira said, “The hardest faith is faith in yourself.” After that, anything is easy even if it is talking about an invisible dude.
What really is the worst that can happen to me? I don’t get into medical school? (After all one school stated they didn’t accept Jews.) Is that really the end of the world? Probably not. OK I could save a lot of lives because I would be able to talk to patients and be able to provide culturally competent care. However, I cannot force them or anyone to accept me into their program. I just don’t have that type of power. I can’t force anyone to accept me into rabbinical school either. Everything I have to worry about really is external. Maybe that is what the trip to Israel really showed… I can survive on my own with very little.
HaShem has to have a plan somehow. I just don’t know what it is.
I just don’t know.
And that is part of having faith.