Imagine holding one of those seeds in your hand while you stand at the base of a fully grown tree strong enough to have nests built into its branches.
“These risks I took, these dangers I have courted:”
One of my top 5 favorite movies is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. There are elements of realizing the memories we wish we could eliminate, and how important even those memories are. It shows the parts of our hearts we often overlook as either expected or painful and thus necessary to cover up or forget. The movie really is wonderful, full of great quotes and scenes; like the very first spoken line, “Valentines Day is a day created by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap.” But the very last scene is my favorite. The scene goes like this:
Joel: I can’t see anything that I don’t like about you. Clementine: But you will Joel: Right now I can’t Clementine: But you will. You know, you will think of things. And I’ll get bored with you and feel trapped, because that’s what happens with me. [Joel shrugs] Joel: Okay [Clementine nods…Joel smiles] Clementine: Okay [Clementine cries, but laughs] Clementine: okay Joel: Okay [They both laugh]
I love this scene and what it has to offer to us. It is a great reminder for those of us who are in relationships. We spend so much of our lives trying to run away from people because we are afraid of not liking something about them. We are afraid of getting bored with something they do. We get afraid that they will run away from us. We’re afraid that something will come up that we don’t like, and “then it will be too late.” I love Joel’s response, “Okay.” It signifies the realization that Clementine will probably find something boring about him. He probably will find something he doesn’t like about her later. But okay! If we thought we could wait until a relationship that would be absolutely perfect, without arguments, annoyances, pain, temptations, we will be waiting forever. By saying, “Okay,” Joel opens himself to trust Clementine. Real trust! A trust that says, “Okay! Fine! You will likely do something I don’t like, but I love you and I trust you. Let’s do this.” As if to say, “That’s a risk we gotta take.” Its not even that it was a risk. It was simply an expectation we have to be willing to take. We have to be willing to understand that things like that will happen. We will find something we don’t like, but are we willing to love them and trust that they love us anyway? Okay.
One friend of mine asked the question, "Why is it so hard to trust God," and I spontaneously responded with... Because its risky! Trusting anything or anyone, especially God, is incredibly risky. In fact, if there is no risk then its not really trusting is it? I mean think about it; if I am not risking anything...if it were really really easy, then there would be absolutely no need to trust. Its hard to trust God because he's risky. You pay the risk that he's not real...since he IS real, you pay the risk of him not hearing you, you pay the risk of him saying "no" to any or all of your deepest questions, you pay the risk of him not feeling close, you pay the risk of his discipline (whatever that looks like), you pay the risk of him not meeting whatever expectations you may have (because he hardly ever does).....
But it is all of these risks that actually make TRUSTING possible...not easy, but utterly POSSIBLE. If you had none of these risks, you would not be able to trust God at all. The very fact that you are still pursuing is, in fact, trusting God. Trust is not feeling at ease...trust is taking the risks.
You cannot JUST trust in God. Trust in God has to be learned and maintained. It is a discipline which needs daily dedication. You have to trust more each day. You have to be intentional about trusting God, because as with trust in anything, it must have a risk involved. You have to risk something, some security, some comfort in order to trust in anything. Trusting God requires some sort of risk you are willing to take. You trust each day by facing those risks and making a choice EACH DAY to say:
"Today I am going to trust God in this situation."
"Today I will pray in the midst of my pain."
"Today i will tell God I am scared and lonely, because that is honest and I know he hears me."
"Today i will believe that God is sovereign; even if I can only half-believe it."
"Today I will trust God."
You cannot JUST trust God. Trust in God is a learned and dedicated discipline.
When I discuss TRUST with a group of people, I commonly break down my definition of trust and how it requires a risk and fear. Otherwise it is not really trust. Commonly, the question then comes, "What if you choose to trust and then you are taken advantage of? What then?" The question brings up a decent point, but we can often allow this to really get in the way of our trusting someone. We have, in asking that question, defied our ability to trust. Trust cannot be dependant on its outcome. If your trust (or lack) is based on the proposed outcome, then you have not trusted at all.
Yes, it is possible to risk and trust someone, and it is possible that it will bring hurt in some cases, but IF you make your decision based on a proposed fear or outcome not to 'go', then you have not trusted.
This applies both to our human relationships as well as our relationship with God the Father. If my trust in God is based on whether or not he gives me tangible affirmation, then I have not trusted God at all. If my trust in my Father is whether or not he moves me to FEEL his presence, I do not really trust God.
TRUST BASED ON THE OUTCOME IS NOT REALLY TRUST!
If I spend the majority of my life demanding that God prove himself to me and assure me that he exists and works in my life, then I have not yet learned what it really means to trust God...to have faith.
We all want to be trusted. "Just trust me will ya!" God is no different here. He desires to be trusted. What sort of demands have we put on that trust? We have so many ways in which we demand a certain outcome in order for us to trust in God, but that is no trust in God at all. We have to learn how to trust God even when the outcome is uncertain...otherwise, we will not have trusted at all.
I had never even heard of Christine Caine. She was due to speak at Catalyst West Coast, and after her Aussie accent, he passion is the first thing to strike you. Several notes from her talk inked my journal, but one has nearly haunted me. "We spend our life praying for miracles and live life avoiding circumstances where miracles can happen."
Our lives lurch forward in search for the next miracle to happen. Some of us are so dependent upon miracles that we avoid the responsibility of obedient living. But there are others of us who ask and hope for miracles, but we refuse to live in the space where miracles happen: risk.
Throughout scripture, the instances where miracles took place most often regarded a step out on to nothing in order to land on the hope of a miraculous something. Faith is necessary for miracles. Trust in a God capable of miracles is necessary for miracles.
Most of us are too worried to live lives of faith, and the risk that faith necessitates. If you have not had to take a risk, then you have not trusted. If you have worried and worried and worried without risking and trusting, you have missed out on the miracles God may have been doing all along.
"Who needs the devil sometimes when you have so many worrying Christians around you?"
Fear --> RISK --> TRUST