By Carolyn Schrock-Shenk, associate professor of peace, justice & conflict studies
This week’s theme: Freedom Bound: The Path of Trust
The path of trust? Seriously? We are asked to follow the path of trust?
As I write, the details of the San Bernardino mass shooting are just emerging. In my distress I learn that there have been more mass shootings in the U.S. than days of the calendar this year! And gun violence is only one of the many catastrophic realities of our day.
Given the state of the world, who in their right mind travels life’s path full of trust? It makes no sense.
I have given up trying to reconcile the reality of suffering—my own and the world’s—with belief in a God of love. It seems illogical to hold together a loving God with the reality of so much evil. So I have stopped trying to make sense of it. It’s not that I disengage my intellect to believe in a God who loves us deeply and in whom I can trust; it is that I have come to accept the extreme limitations of my intellect. It is foolish to believe in a loving God, given the disasters all around us. I know that. But I have decided that to not believe in a loving God, simply because I can’t make it all make sense, is the height of arrogance – and even greater foolishness. So I do believe. I choose to believe. It’s that “simple.”
And that is what I am learning about trust. I can choose it. I HAVE to choose it. Some days it’s easy and makes sense – the sun is bright. I am loved. I have good work. And some days, like today, I have to choose trust. I have to choose it repeatedly in the face of screaming demons when it seems to make no sense.
The path of trust is a choice. A daily, sometimes hourly choice. But a choice that does, indeed, lead to freedom.