Trust

“FROM WHAT ARE YOU TEMPTED TO FLEE? WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO TRUST GOD HERE?” (Br. Luke Ditewig, SSJE, https://www.ssje.org/monasticwisdom/stability/?utm_source=SSJE&utm_campaign=1a2a3b1794-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_10_24&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d17480dad0-1a2a3b1794-54045989)

THERE ARE TIMES WHEN IT FEELS LIKE STAYING PUT IS AN IMPOSSIBILITY. THE BEST MOVE IS TO MOVE ON, LEAVE THE AREA AND START FRESH IN A NEW “PLACE” – WHETHER THE “PLACE” IS A PHYSICAL ONE OR AN EMOTIONAL ONE.
PSYCHOLOGISTS WOULD TELL US THAT THIS IS OUR NORMAL, INHERITED “FIGHT OR FLIGHT” RESPONSE THAT IS BUILT INTO OUR DNA. IF WE SENSE DANGER, WE TURN TOWARDS THE DANGER AND BRACE OURSELVES FOR CONFLICT OR WE RUN AWAY FROM THE DANGER AND LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY.

THE MONASTIC TRADITION TELLS US SOMETHING DIFFERENT – STAY. JESUS SAYS, “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.”

THE WORD “ABIDE” MEANS TO REST, TO STAY ROOTED IN, TO HANG IN THERE. JESUS CALLS US TO STAY ROOTED IN HIM IN THE FACE OF OUR DANGERS, CHAOS AND CONFUSION. TRUST THAT HANGING IN THERE WITH GOD WILL BRING US TO A PLACE OF PEACE AND RESOLUTION AND NOT TO A PLACE OF DESTRUCTION AND LOSS. ALTHOUGH AT TIMES, LOSS IS EXACTLY WHAT IS NEEDED IN ORDER TO BE MORE ROOTED IN GOD.

TRUTH BE TOLD, OFTEN TIMES, OUR DESIRE TO FLEE IS BASED ON THE FEAR OF LOSING SOMETHING WE VALUE IN OUR LIVES, IT IS A REFUSAL TO LET GO OF THE FAMILIAR AND ALLOW THE NEW TO ENTER INTO OUR LIVES. WE FLEE IN ORDER TO AVOID THE PAIN OF CHANGE, WHICH IS ACTUALLY THE PAIN OF LOSS. AND YET, IF WE ARE ABLE TO FOLLOW THE INVITATION OF JESUS IN JOHN’S GOSPEL, WE STAY, WE ABIDE, WE HANG IN THERE AND LET GO OF THE FEAR AND REPLACE IT WITH TRUST. GOD IS AT WORK.
“WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO TRUST GOD HERE?”

IF WE ARE ABLE TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND ASK THE QUESTION EACH TIME FEAR ARISES IN OUR HEARTS, PERHAPS WE CAN LEARN THE ART OF ABIDING. PERHAPS WE WILL NEED TO TALK WITH A FRIEND OR TRUSTED SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR OR COUNSELOR. PERHAPS WE SIMPLY NEED TO SPEND A FEW MOMENTS IN SILENCE. PERHAPS WE NEED TO TAKE A WALK OR PLAY SOME MUSIC. WHATEVER WE DISCERN AS HELPFUL IN THE FACE OF OUR FEAR WE CAN ACT UPON KNOWING THAT THIS IS OUR WAY OF ABIDING IN GOD.

THE GOOD NEWS – WE ARE NEVER ALONE IN THE FACE OF OUR FEAR. GOD ABIDES WITH US, GOD’S LOVE IS DEPENDABLE AND RELIABLE IN THE MIDST OF ALL THE VICISSITUDES OF LIFE. ABIDE IN GOD, REST IN GOD, HANG IN THERE WITH GOD AND BELIEVE THAT THERE IS A NEW PLACE OF STABILITY AND HOPE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF OUR FEAR. GOD IS WITH US.