Learning How to Trust
by Greg Pike
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Lesson Six, compiled from psalms 6, 13 and 20 is about trust, but so far we have only found what cannot be trusted. We would like to trust other people but we are surrounded by those who would take advantage of our weaknesses. There are the unscrupulous we call enemies, but even among families and friends there are conflicts of desires. We would trust the God who is our Creator but we are sometimes not sure what of Him is real and what is only our hope and imagination. We would trust ourselves but honest seeking shows our faults and bad habits.
Ordinary schooling (even without the ten commandments posted on the wall) educates us to look for examples in the world and use logic to find patterns. From repetition we learn causes and effects, and a whole new world of ideas opens up. We can manipulate the ideas more easily than objects and before you know it, we can build skyscrapers from plans on paper. We learn math and science and history and we see how mankind's perception of himself and his surroundings has changed over the years.
We learn about art and music and literature by looking at examples of what most agree is great work, and we begin to understand quality. We develop an instinct for quality that is hard to define so we use phrases like "It's more of an art than a science," or "You can only learn that from experience" to bridge the understanding gap. We understand that we will be called upon to act in that world; to get a job and have a family, to make decisions without a safety net. There's not always a smooth transition from decisions at school to decision making in the rest of life. But to get the experience, or do the art requires work, or at least doing, and doing requires some amount of trust.
We must trust in our ability to at least start in the right direction; without that, we may collapse in an anxiety attack over the smallest thing. Normally, people learn that facing the unknown requires the ability to learn from the mistakes that will inevitably come. And so, the beginning of trust is having courage, having the faith in ourselves that we will have the energy to start something and continue with it despite our fears. Trust is courage in action. You will have made preparations, you've trained and practiced, others who should know have told you that you are ready (though you are not sure); then comes a moment that you often remember forever that has been long awaited but comes quite unexpectedly, when you step out and begin.
All you have to hold onto at that moment is whatever faith you can squeeze out from the vacumn that seems to appear inside of you, the faith that you can trust yourself to act according to your will, and nothing else. You could be out on a stage with a microphone in your hand, you could be falling through the air waiting for your parachute to open, you could be waiting in the emergency room for the doctor to come out, or waiting in court, or looking into the eager eyes of students or co-workers who expect the very best from you.
Trusting your belief is work, and it develops in small steps. Faith is the evidence of the gain made from the work of trust. It is like money in the bank. It's the riches that the bible has spoken of for six thousand years. Jesus said it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a man who trusts in riches to get into the kingdom of God. You search the scriptures and think you will find eternal life there. And yet those scriptures speak of the truth which I'm telling you here. If you don't believe the bible you certainly won't believe me. And He said you trusted in Moses, but don't do his works, how then can you learn from someone you don't trust?
Real faith is the source of all our strength and we can know it by its taste. It has in it a measure of fear and a measure of excitement. It makes us feel our rapid heart and our body that comes alive, as if waking from a long sleep, poised in ready anticipation of a future filled with wonder in a Truth that is waiting patiently to find us.
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