Trust versus fear

Last week I met a young man who was just completing a 40 day trip around Europe, ending his stay in Stockholm. Seeing his sleeping mat tied to his bag I wanted to get some packing tips for my next trip – I’m wondering if I might take a sleeping bag and mat or if they will be unnecessary weight.

As we started talking it unfolded that his accommodation during his trip was arranged by the grace of god, trusting in the good-will and kindness of strangers or the good-will and kindness of the environment, a sheltered doorway or corner where he made himself at home in his sleeping bag. Surrendering himself to a higher power, the universe or in his case his belief in his Christian God he listened, prayed and accepted the gifts of strangers or accepted the nights on the streets trusting that a warm shower and shelter would turn up when he needed it. He told me that on a couple of occasions he nearly checked into a hostel, but resisted. He stayed true to his pilgrimage of trusting and accepting, resisting the urge to take back control even when he could easily have done.

Surrendering ourselves to a higher power, however you understand a higher power to be, perhaps you also call it God, seems often to require a moment by moment renewal. I find fear creeps in as soon as I’ve turned my back. I recognise fear by my need to start manipulating something to be under my control, by doing things to ensure a certain outcome, by taking more than I need to make sure I wont go lacking in a future that hasn’t arrived yet, and seeing possible negative future scenarios which, guess what, haven’t arrived yet and most likely wont either. We expend a lot of energy trying to ensure that bad things wont happen in the future, and while we are doing that we are missing out on the possibilities that are turning up in the now.’

 

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