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Trust? Or control? 25 January 2006

Posted by Dr Moose in Uncategorized.

(Category: Faith)

To follow the way of Christ, even to begin to think about it, is to step into the world un-masked and unarmoured. To trust that you are following one who has gone before you in Christ and travels beside and within you in the Spirit implies a movement. Not being static.

To walk into an unfamiliar church to assist in a service is pretty easy. You know the ropes, you know there will be local variation, and you know that the regulars are nearly always incredibly happy to see you – especially if they have no minister at present. It might assist others in their journey of faith, but it hardly counts as movement in my own.

To stroll around my favourite festival, which I have been to for rather more years than I care to remember, with all the familiar sights, familiar sounds and familiar places (while wearing my familiar hat!) may encourage, equip or enable me to move on in my faith. But it is not that act of movement by itself.

To trust that you are following one who has gone before you in Christ and travels beside and within you in the Spirit involves a movement into a dangerous place. Like going alone into the pub and being acutely aware of your motivelessness. A place where, whether I like it or not, I am forced to be simultaneously open to others, and all the conclusions they draw about me on the grounds of the dog-collar and hence (at least potentially) to all their feelings about God as revealed in Jesus, and I also need to remain open to God. If am not, I have nothing to offer, not for them, not for me.

That is trust. Maybe anything else is just an exercise, however faith-filled, in control.

Control is about what I can do, trust is about what I cannot.

I somehow think I’m not really very good at faith, or at trusting. But when you are continuing to await the arrival of a child and there is nothing you can do, then maybe I’m just that bit closer to the trust we are all called to display.

Not blind trust, because I have plenty of personal examples of why and how God can be trusted. It’s just hard to remember them too well, until you realise that you are not in control after all.

To quote Julian of Norwich, “all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” (Or words to that effect!)

Yeah, right.



1. Kathryn - 25 January 2006

Hang on in there.
I guess quoting the Iona liturgy “Thank you for the waiting time…” is not exactly going to feel helpful right now, but there’s lots of praying going on, definitely (though I’m quite glad that I blew out the candle!)

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