Japanese Cedars in the twilight, Himalayas.

In God We Trust?

At a certain point we have no option but to trust — in God, in the Universe, in Life. If we have no plan, if we have no other options, we might as well trust. It certainly does no good (especially with confirmation bias — that phenomenon that makes it almost certain that we will see what expect to see) to assume the worst.

But a life of faith asks for a lot of trust and lately that grates on me.

I know the arguments by now. I know the metaphor — the one that reminds us of how we sometimes tell others to trust us; how we tell our kids, “In the long run you will thank me — for telling you that you cannot date until you are 16, for making you take your vitamins, for asking you to practice your instrument daily.” But I also know it is never healthy to keep secrets for long; and how the good parent also offers explanations — how she offers even a word about the power of green vegetables or the dangers of the road and the unpredictability of strangers.

And anyway you and I are not children. If we take seriously the stories about being created in God’s image, then there is more to us and more to our relationship to God than child to adult, permanently infantilized from birth to death.

According to Process Theology, a framework for understanding God that makes sense of my experience, you and I are co-creators with the Divine. We are the arms and legs, muscle and voice of the Holy. To the extent God learns and becomes incarnate, God does so in part with and through us. We are partners in the highest work of Spirit — of binding the world back together; of infusing its hurting places with healing and courage and hope.

I don’t think it is hubris to say this or to believe it, because the moment you do so your life is never yours. Or never just yours again.

Years ago something unbidden whispered in my ear, and what is said changed the course of my life. Before that moment I wouldn’t have thought such things were possible. But now I know and knowing means the possibility always exists for this to happen again.

And over the years I’ve had epiphanies, too — those silent ones that are like lightening going off in your head; the ones that, in a moment, let you see the world you are called to step into or create; the ones where just that glimpse gets imprinted in your head and on your heart, like a map forever set to memory.

A person can navigate a long time and a long ways on one such glimpse or whisper of where they are meant to go.

So I yearn for God. The God who speaks in words sometimes. The God who might say: “Sister, I will ask a lot of you soon. Rest know and prepare to be used.” Or “Get busy on that degree/book/ministry/healing work because we need the fruits of it and now is the time.” The God who would let you know somehow, unambiguously: “Head toward Rome (or Juno or Marrakesh) and I will meet you there.”

Instead you and I are often left to guess. There is so much we are left to figure out on our own. Lifetimes of wilderness landscapes. And very few pillars of fire to lead the way.

So, I am sure I could trust more. I just wish that God would (could) talk more too.

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