Monday, November 3, 2008

whom do I trust?


Several years ago, my partner and I went river rafting on Clearwater River. The river was named appropriately for it's water was crystal clear. It was a six hour ride, through some spectacular wilderness. We had so much fun, it seemed an oasis in the midst of all the drama in our lives.

The section of river I enjoy the most was also the calmest. The river was wide and deep, moving rapidly but calmly. The guide suggested going for a swim through this section and I took his advice, allowing the currents to pull me away from the main group, so I was alone. Now the water was like air. The bottom was 10 to 12 feet away but I could see every rock, pebble, boulder. I felt like I was flying. The world passing below me. Above me were step walls, cover in tall fir trees, and a deep blue sky, the sun illuminating all. The sense of floating, drifting, being enveloped by the coolness of the river, and the total loss of worry or fear was wonderful.

I've been thinking about those moments a lot. I am on a journey and in a sense, am caught up in the river of life, having no control over the events that surround me. In that section of river, the current was moving fast, and when it passed over large boulders there would be whirl pools large enough to suck a man down. The guide told us that if that were to happen, just take a breath, relax, wait a few seconds and we would pop back to the surface, our life jackets giving us lots of buoyancy. In all our lives, lots of events happen, both comfortable and uncomfortable. Acceptance seems to be the way to go through them. Even accepting that I was an alcoholic was the beginning of my journey in recovery.

These past few weeks, I've been fighting this river called life. Swimming against the current, going no where. Trying to avoid the whirlpools, walk around the rapids, looking for pockets of warm water.

The past couple of days I've been meditating on the word "trust". When worries and fear pop up, I try to focus on that word. Reminding myself what it means.

On pager 68 (where the writer speaks of fear) of the big book:

Perhaps there is a better way - we think so. For we are now on a different basis; the basis of trusting and relying upon God. We trust infinite God rather than our finite selves. We are in the world to play the role He assigns. Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity.

We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator. We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness. Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust their God. We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do. We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At once, we commence to outgrow fear.


There is a better way than what I've been doing. I am not going to have all the answers. I am not omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent. As louisey put it, I'm "just another boso on the bus". I am loved, my Higher Power being present in my life, just as that Higher Power is present in everyones life. I am not special, not unique, but loved. Not protected, not invincible, but loved.

Photo Credit: Grant McDonald

5 comments:

Cat said...

perfectly imperfect.

Lou said...

Wow that analogy took me into the water. Awesome!

Kori said...

I love your analogy, and you truly are a gifted write. I needed this post exactly now, so thank you.

AlkySeltzer said...

I drive 60 miles per hour (actually faster, but don't wish to incriminate myself) on a two-lane road, trusting completely--without thought--that everyone zooming toward me is sober, drug-free, awake, and of sound mind, driving well-maintained equipment.

And yet I have trouble when it comes to trusting and relying on God. How fickle am I...how utterly "of little faith". This needs to change in me!

Shadow said...

and i was told... you have to go through the forest, not around it. and i've been dodging around the edges for long enough, time to venture in...