10 Rules of the pilgrim: #9 Trust God

La Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleinede de Vézelay

Trusting God is on one hand widely disputed and well rehearsed subject, but on the other it’s sometimes very difficult to practice.

First let’s notice that on Camino one can meet people of almost every denomination and religion even atheists and agnostics. All these people walking on st. Jacobs paths create that phenomenon called Camino de Santiago.

More and more often, it’s stressed that atheists are also doing that pilgrimage, that Camino is for everyone. The religious dimension of pilgrimage becomes therefore overlooked and all turns into kind of traveling, getting to know others, seeking self-development and self-fulfillment.

It happens that taking a religious position in the context of Camino may be treated as an inappropriate or something quirk that “insults” unbelievers and atheists. But I think that there is more to this wide attendance on Camino by people from “beyond” christian faith. I suppose these “atheists” are dreaming about God. They miss Him, like a dry land starved of water. They just not interested in “God” which one or another Christian congregation has “on offer”.

So, how we can trust God? It can’t be done against ourselves, in spite what we think and feel. We can’t force ourselves to it. We can make us walk, but we can’t make us really trust. Just as we can’t really forgive simply by a decision and sheer will. We can make beautiful statements about it, but will it really change us?

It is difficult to trust a Judge, who has a long list of possible offenses, looks at a man from above, who can really condemn one to eternal death or torment. Fear? – Yes. Awe? – Yes. Reverence and worship? – Yes. But trust?

We trust those who somehow love us, who won’t do us anything bad no matter what. Who will always stand behind us, no matter what. Meanwhile, sins, conditions, terrible threats, our guilt, judgment …

Maybe we can trust God easier when we “see” Him as a friend, as someone who walks next to us along the Camino Frances, offering a helping hand on the muddy slopes of Camino del Norte. Who sits with us in the evening, enjoys our very presence, our voice, the unique expression of our eyes. And when we sleep, He looks at us with a thousand stars and has only one wish – us to be happy.

If this is how the God really is, then in such a God we can trust. Simply. Without effort. Naturally.

We need to trust God when other sources of trust fail. When alberga is full, when white squall, when our legs refuse to obey us, when… we are alone and there’s no hope. It is good to trust Him, when we look to the future and what we see, brings us fear or anxiety. It’s exactly then, when we can trust Friend and believe that it’ll be good. Because He is. With us.

This Friend, however, does not intend us to simply “use” Him, to say “hocus pocus” or a prayer and “somehow” it’ll be, as we want to. He’s not going to do too much for us. He wants us to blossom, yes with Him and his help. He wants our effort, faith and foresight. Trust does not mean ignoring difficulties, omitting your own reasoning or lack of responsibility. Confidence, that comes from trust, means willingness to act, the ability to make an effort and take reasonable risk.

Trust God, means to look more brightly to the future. To discern some good, that we’ve not seen yet. To find out the courage that exists despite the fears. To go and make pilgrimage, because then there’s is strength in us, kind of warmth, some kind of brightness which – through what we do and wherever we go – creates new and wonderful things. Like Camino ways… 🙂

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