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Do I Trust This?

January 05, 2023 3:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Man in yellow shirt bungee jumping into a canyonWhen I was seventeen years old I went bungee jumping. I'm not certain what waivers I had to sign, but what I remember quite clearly is my looking down at the bungee cord and thinking: Do I trust this thing? It was intense, scary, thrilling, and I am pretty sure my mom didn't "sign off" on it.

A couple weeks ago, I had a "bungee jumping" kind of conversation with a young person not from church. They knew I was a priest and they asked me: What happens to us after we die? I'm familiar with being asked such questions, but looking down at that little one, as they looked up at me, I started to sense just a touch of that vertigo of uncertainty. "Oh, here I am, talking about something I trust and believe in, but I can't prove with any certainty!" It is unsettling and exhilarating — it can be fun to step into the mystery. Maybe you know what I mean. 

Well, I told that young person what I believe and trust in: When we die we will be greeted by God's big and warm embrace — it'll feel like coming home, because we will be. I said: "And you know what, it really is a big and exciting mystery." They gave me a nod of approval and said, "Let's keep walking." And, we did.

You and I live in a world that is increasingly suspicious of, not just faith or trust, but of mystery itself. If we just have enough time and enough technology and enough brilliant minds, we'll figure it all out. It's a scientism and materialism that is both truthful and sterile. I'm not arguing against such things in any final way (I mean, if the Webb telescope doesn't bring you awe and wonder, I'm not sure what will!). Rather, it's to say that there is something very human-making about mystery. Mystery and wonder make us more human, not less so. Mystery and wonder, especially when it comes to religion and faith, is the fuel of spiritual growth. It's about moving us to experience those "bungee jumping" realities of life and asking ourselves: Do I trust this? Maybe it's the decision to trust someone with your vulnerability; maybe it's a choice to walk away from the safe and explore the unknown; maybe it's admitting your limits and asking for, clamoring for, crying for "help." 

As we enter this new year together, I invite you into the mystery and the wonder that is all around you and within you — the strength, the openness, the possibility of honestly asking: Do I trust this? And then, maybe, taking that leap of faith.

See you Sunday, 
Rev. Nick 

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