Recently I was with a couple dear friends of mine V & S (you know who you are!), and the book, Ruthless Trust, by Brennan Manning came up in our conversation. Although I'd heard of the book, I'd never read it. So I popped into our bookstore here at Mount Hermon (how great is it to have a wonderful Christian Bookstore right in my backyard?!) and bought it.
Today after having my pre-surgical blood work done, I went to one of our fantastic local bakeries (The Buttery) to have some coffee, their zucchini muffin (my favorite!!), and spend enough time there to get the 1st chapter absorbed.
In my reading, I was struck by a story about a gentleman who went to work in Calcutta with Mother Teresa. As the story goes... upon arriving, Mother Teresa asks the man what she could do for him, and he replies, "Pray that I have clarity." But unexpectedly, she promptly and firmly says, "No."
Perplexed he asks, "Why not?" She explains that clarity is what we always cling to but must let go of. When the gentleman commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, "I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God."
...then Manning explains:
"Craving clarity, we attempt to eliminate the risk of trusting God. Fear of the unknown path stretching ahead of us destroys childlike trust in the Father's active goodness and unrestricted love."Wow... did you catch that? ... craving clarity, we attempt to eliminate the risk of trusting God!
How many times have I tried to gain clarity in an unknown situation; planned my strategies; attempted to get all my ducks in a row; sought answers to questions beyond my control? ... hmmm... OKAY, about a BA-ZILLION times!
But there's a good reason for that... It's in my nature; I'm a Curious George; that's what I'm supposed to do; I'm wired that way.... right?
Manning goes on to say...
"We often presume that trust will dispel the confusion, illuminate the darkness, vanquish the uncertainty, and redeem the times..." "...Our trust does not bring final clarity on this earth. It does not still the chaos or dull the pain or provide a crutch. When all else is unclear, the heart of trust says, as Jesus did on the cross, 'Into your hands I commit my spirit' (Luke 23:46)."Okay, Lord, I think I'm finally getting it.... My "new" normal is waking up and depending on you (like a toddler depends on her parents) for complete control of my day. Not my plans, but yours Lord. I'm the kid at camp or school who looks to my teacher or counselor for what I will be learning today. You're in charge of the activities throughout the day; some will be for my discipline and some will be for my pure pleasure. But all will be tenderly and lovingly laid out for me by the Master of the Universe; Who better to chart my course?
So as I look out in the coming weeks, my goal is to sit back and enjoy this unknown journey with my Master Navigator. Here are some of the "unknowns" that I "trust" at the feet of Jesus (no clarity needed!):
- Surgery Date
- Having surgery for the very 1st time in my life! (Pretty good for 50yrs, don't ya think?!)
- Recovery time
- Continued unemployment during the recovery time
- Finances & how that may impact my current living situation
- Where & When a job will present itself
Will you pray with me? That I WILL seek child-like trust and NOT clarity during this journey?
Tripping along behind Jesus,