Sherry’s 1993 Geo Metro blew its second head gasket as she was coming home from her Saturday haircut. Fortunately she was onlyÂ a mile away from home, so she was able to drive it home. I was tied up in Troutdale at an elders’ retreat (why do they call a day long elders’ meeting a retreat??). I would have left, of course, but didn’t have to. Even if the Geo could be repaired for a reasonable price, the car is done, since Sherry can’t trust it. So what to do? Our normal way is for our friend, Peter Dodd, to find cars. But he’s in Taiwan. So we ended up going to Gresham Toyota.Â The 2003 Olds Alero made her smile. So now we own it. It’s ten years newer and has 100,000 fewer miles.
The experience made me think of trust. I trust Peter deeply.Â I know he cares a lot about us. He’s competent in mechanics and shopping. He smiles when he’s doing it. But we can’t wait until he gets here at the end of June. Neither Sherry nor I like car shopping at all. If we take time to shop, in my compulsive way, we’d have to invest a lot of time, rent a car, and that’s an expensive process too. So we decided to trust a Christian car dealer. That dealership asked me to do a Q & A time with their staff after the Passion of the Christ came out. Today, the salesman and I talked aobut the movie as we tested the vehicle. I’m a little nervous about it all, but there is a need to trust, even when there’s not really adequate basis for it.
Trust is one of those things that are hard to deal with. I don’t trust anyone 100%, not even God. It’s not that He’s not trustworthy, but there’s so much of Him I don’t understand. I trust Sherry as much as one can trust another human. She’ll never intentionally hurt me, but she makes mistakes and forgets sometimes. I have friends who touch my soul, to whom I constantly entrust my life, my fears, my hopes, my fragile joys. But what of a friend whom I’ve hurt deeply who can’t even talk to me? There was only intent to build,Â but the hurt is still there. The fallout has hurt others. Confession and repentance is past tense, but reconciliation is not even on the horizon. What does trust look like? Me trusting time and God’s work? My friend risking to come? Unknown. So prayer, waiting,Â and consistent repentance. And I sadly wait.
I’m at work on a major crisis situation where I’ve been investing for several months now. It should resolve tomorrow. Trust when I can’t control things is hard. But when I see the results of patient investment come to fruition, I’m glad. There’s a major intervention in the near future which will be as tough as I’ve ever done. I need to process these and other things with someone other than God, but that can’t happen now. One day.
So my goal is to be as totally trustworthy as I possibly can be. But that means saying, “No” to people in advance, which is so difficult when those people are ones who need help so deeply, ones who may well not get help if I don’t. It means keeping margin so stress doesn’t cause my intensity to blow people out. So I pray for courage and wisdom and trust.
Thanks for this good thought, Steve. I wish it were just God working to make me trustworthy. It surely seems that He wants to help me as I do the work that needs to be done!
Blessings on you
I usually pray something like, “God make me more loving,” which is a good thing to pray. I’m not sure why, but I’ve never prayed, “God make me more trustworthy.”
Gerry your goal to be “totally trustworthy” is to be emulated. From my front burner today, first it means becoming like our Father — “All His work is done in faithfulness” (Ps 33:4). And, it means hating Judas-like duplicity — “Greetings, Rabbi!” (Matt 26:49).
“Father, give me the desire to follow Gerry and be ‘totally trustworthy.’ “