My first real time away from home was at the age of 10. My parents drove from Jasper, Minnesota, to Sioux City, Iowa, so I could babysit my 2-year old nephew. I stayed with my brother and sister-in-law for a week while they worked. I remember feeling very grown up. I was proud to be trusted with such a responsibility and took it very seriously.
I felt the same the first year I taught a room full of fourth-graders at Holy Rosary School in Medford. I was in heaven. The students were engaging and I was enthusiastic. Then one day, about a month into the school year, it suddenly occurred to me – I was entrusted with these young souls. Their parents hoped / prayed / trusted that when their son or daughter went to school, they would be well cared for. It was up to me to teach them, yes, but more importantly, to care for them. It left me in awe, and a tear came to my eye as I promised to never take the responsibility or the trust for granted.
When we talk about trust as an action of our faith, we might first define it in light of the trust we have in God, and rightly so. Whether it be from Proverbs, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not,” or Isaiah 26:4, “Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock” we learn from early on, our God is worthy of trust. We might even have heard from parents or teachers to trust God that things will work out, our lives are in God’s hands, or trust that God has a plan for you. Trust is indeed an important basis for our relationship with God. I also think it is a two-way trust.
Bishop Bob Morneau shared, “Belief is believing in God. Faith is knowing God believes in us.” I also hear that as, “Faith is knowing God trusts us.” Often in prayer or when reading the scriptures, it occurs to me just how much God trusts us. We are entrusted with the faith of our parents and grandparents; of carrying the baton as it were, of all who have gone before us in faith, from Abraham on. God trusts us to allow this faith to fully take root within us. As Paul states in his letter to Timothy: “God saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus… Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.” (2 Tim 1:,14)
I’m not sure how often we think of God’s trust in us, but perhaps it could become part of our prayer and reflection. As we are aware of all of the ways God has blessed us, there is the trust that we will use those blessings well. As God has given us influence over creation, there is the trust we will do what we can to care for all of creation. As God has created us with the gift of faith, there is the trust we will deepen that faith, share it with others, and pass it on to all we can. Friends, let us be grateful for the trust God has in us, seeing it as a privilege and a responsibility, and never taking it for granted.