Exercising trust

Standing in the queue, waiting for the gate to open, I rehearsed how I would race to my carriage and claim the best table seat, with electricity socket, front facing and by the window. With a stack of work to do, I couldn’t afford to waste time. Every minute was precious. Then, to my utter surprise, a small voice in my head spoke, “Walk, don’t run, trust me, you’ll still get your seat”. Almost against my will and with huge effort, I crawled down the platform watching people sprint past me. Finally, I reached the crowded carriage and searched out a seat. The only place I could find was amongst three rather crotchety commuters, who looked up with disdain as I asked if I could join their table and take the remaining seat, the one with the socket, facing front and next to the window!

Thirty years ago, I heard Adrian Plass* tell a similar story and it has echoed in my mind ever since, especially when queueing at railway stations!

Exercising trust can be challenging. At the moment I’m trying to sell my house and move to Sheringham. I'm having to put my trust in a group of people that, until a few weeks ago, were complete strangers. The estate agent, the purchaser, the vendor, the solicitor - all of them are asking me to trust them. I have no control over sale of my home, the purchase of another, or the time it takes. It is so stressful!

And then there’s the pandemic and the government’s advice on keeping safe. We have to exercise trust and believe that they will find the best way through. We have no previous experience, only limited knowledge and no control.

It is hardly surprising that the Bible has plenty to say about trust. It seems, God is well aware that many of us struggle with relinquishing control and trusting others, even trusting God himself. At times like this, a verse I often turn to is Proverbs 3 verse 5 which says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight’. Life has repeatedly shown me that when I take these words seriously, and apply them to my situation, things often work out for the better. I’m trusting that what can be true for seats on trains, will be true for moving house and for the challenges of Covid-19.

*View from a Bouncy Castle, A Plass, Fount 1991. The story is called The Four-fifteen from Paddington.