Trust is a big deal in our family. Megan, who has herdoctorate in educational administration, wrote her dissertation on trust inschools. When trust is present, things work better and students learn more.When trust is absent, things break down and students learn less.
It’s easier to define the absence of trust than itspresence: suspicion, hostility, deceit, impatience, antagonism, undermining,dishonesty, pretense, cheating, intolerance, and edginess. We know those whenwe see and feel them.
After considerable research and thought, Megan settled uponthe following definition for the presence of trust: “Trust is the willingnessto be vulnerable based on the confidence that the other party is benevolent,competent, reliable, honest, and open.”
For this LifeTrek Provision I want to work with that definition ina context other than schools, other than organizational theory. I want to workwith that definition in the context of God, of the Universe, of Life itself.
How do you go through Life? Do you have the confidence thatGod, the Universe, and/or Life itself is benevolent, competent, reliable,honest, and open? Or do you approach Life with suspicion, hostility,impatience, dishonesty, intolerance, and edginess? The answer to that questionmakes a world of difference to your health, well-being, attractiveness, andfuture development.
Let me give you an example. These LifeTrek Provisions have beeninterrupted and delayed by my father’s emergency open-heart surgery on Friday,January 21. Things were touch and go both before and after the surgery as theyworked to prevent a heart attack and stabilize his condition. Now he’s in themidst of his own marathon, known as recovery road, with the inevitable physicaland emotional challenges.
How do you cope with such untoward events? They happen to usall. Health emergencies. Growing pains. Domestic disputes. Career transitions.Financial crises. Fertility problems. Attention deficits. Rush-hour traffic.You’re likely to see most of these stresses, along with many others, over thecourse of a lifetime. How do they leave you feeling? Do you ponder, “Why me?”Or do you trust, “Why not me?”
“Why not me?” reflects the vulnerability that underlies thedefinition of trust. When we open ourselves to the idea that all of life,including the hard, impossible, and incomprehensible parts of life, has nothingbut our best interest at heart we start living out of trust rather than fear.And that posture enables us to move placidly, effortlessly, and gracefully fromthe cradle to the grave.
The sacred writings tell many stories of people who learnthis lesson. There is the student who seeks wisdom from a master, only to growimpatient as the teacup overflows. Or the crowds who ask Jesus to explain thesin behind a man born blind. The answer is always the same. It’s not about sin.And there is no secret. It’s about finding the trust to accept the presentmoment as the perfect moment for us, the one that’s perfectly designed forwonder, growth, transformation, and blessing.
Perhaps the apostle Paul said it best: we know that allthings work together for good for those who trust God. It’s not magic. It’sjust the way it is. Trust God to use every situation for good and you’ll findthe good you trust in no time.
May you be filled with peace, wonder, and joy.