What is trust? I could break the word down into a handy acronym/mnemonic, but I’ll leave that to my fiancé, who is a much better wordsmith than me. 🙂 So I’ll rely on good ol’ Webster:
trust (n.) assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
When I think of trust, I think of that time in ninth grade when we were asked to do trust falls in PE class (What did that have to do with PE? To this day, I have no idea.), and I did not trust my classmates to catch me as I fell backward because the previous week, they had thrown me quite roughly over the volleyball net, leaving me with a bruised tailbone. (Our student teacher had a lot of unconventional ideas about what high school PE classes should look like.)
To get back on track in a very “Captain Obvious” manner: There will come a time when everyone on earth, even yourself, will fail you. This should not completely break your trust in these people but should remind you that humans are weak and that trust is better placed in Someone else.
But the question I struggle with is… How does one place trust in God? Is it simply a matter of letting go of what you want for yourself and conforming to His will? If that is the case, how does one discern His will? Sometimes I wish it was as easy as locking oneself into a cloister for hours of prayer or spending years in solitude composing a work such as the translation of the Latin Vulgate or the entire Summa Theologica… oh, wait, that’s not exactly easy.
Discerning the will of God and learning to trust in him are probably even more challenging in today’s secularized world than ever before, especially with all the distractions that face us. Nobody seems to have time for spiritual matters, even spending five minutes in church after Mass has ended. Everyone’s got a to-do list a mile long and an equally long list of places to be.
I think a simple way to trust in God would be to invoke His name in every situation. If it’s a sunny day, thank Him. If you hear that someone in your family is sick, ask Him to heal that person. If a project goes well at work, thank Him. If you lose something, ask Him (or St. Anthony) to help you find it. Another way to trust in God would be to look back at the past and previous situations where you requested and received His help. If you were able to trust Him then, you can surely trust Him now.
When we fail to trust, it is most likely caused by a lack of patience on our part. We read about the saints and other spiritual heroes, we see stuff on social media, and we assume that trust in God and habits of prayer come easily and quickly, when in reality, it takes a lifetime. We trust in God to give us the answer, but we forget that He gives us the answer in His timing, so when we lose patience, we lose trust in Him and feel as though we can rely only on ourselves or on our fellow humans.