April 21, 2020

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.

Willa Cather (1873 – 1947) Novelist

Our life, like our planet’s life, knows both calm and storm. We experience times when our lake is placid and our sky cloudless. We also encounter days of howling winds and turbulent seas. We live many days in the in-between.

In all times, we can learn to deepen trust.

In times of calm, learning to trust is nuanced. When we are surrounded by tranquility, we can look closely at our environment. We can absorb detail – noticing subtle differences, grasping vital distinctions. We can understand relationships between things and in turn, our relationship to things. With insight, trust can become more practical.

In times of storm, learning to trust is sharpened. In the midst of crisis, we discover what is most basic. Urgency demands our full attention and a shedding of all that is secondary. We learn what matters most; we respond to what we know to be essential. We scan our resources, drawing upon those skills that are needed for immediate safety. We act with our abilities; we rely on our faith; we hope. With focus, trust can become more functional.

In times of storm, learning to trust is inventive. When faced with difficulty, assurance can become dislodged. Uncertainty challenges our confidence and requires us to reach out – to loved ones, to God, to our communities, to those things that have helped us cope in the past. We build pathways back to those sanctuaries or we imagine and create new ways of attaching to those anchors that most deeply secure us. With creative effort, trust can be restored.

All our circumstances can be a chance to grow in trust that ultimately, we will find our way.

What has carried me through storms of the past? How can I trust that refuge today?