Monday, June 6, 2016

# 69: Trust

The Wandering Urantians (Doug and Betty Lou) are now hitched, which is to say the photos for this posting are about our wedding that occurred on May 14 in our home in beautiful Poplar Cove.  A small gathering of friends and neighbors were on hand to witness the event.  There is also a photo of our young ones!  The subject of this posting was obvious since an important aspect of a successful marriage is trust.  In addition to love for one another it is vital that each partner is able to trust and believe in the other, therefore trust will be the subject of our commentary today.  These thoughts are also inspired by comments in my latest booklet now in progress that describes those who were entrusted with bringing the light of truth to our planet.  Let’s get started.

The quotations for this posting are naturally about trust.

Said Jesus: “In the time of testing, a man’s soul is revealed; trial discloses what really is in the heart. When the servant is tested and proved, then may the lord of the house set such a servant over his household and safely trust this faithful steward to see that his children are fed and nurtured. Likewise, will I soon know who can be trusted with the welfare of my children when I shall have returned to the Father. As the lord of the household shall set the true and tried servant over the affairs of his family, so will I exalt those who endure the trials of this hour in the affairs of my kingdom.”  The Urantia Book (1824.5)

The newlyweds

(This is our “official” wedding photograph.  It took a while to find someone who was qualified and willing to come out into the boonies and do the honors at our home in Poplar Cove.  Then we called the salesman who had given us a good deal on our vehicles and claimed to know everyone.  Turns out his wife was ordained and willing!)

Trust is vital in any relationship.  One of the first observations we make when meeting someone for the first time is an attempt to determine if this individual can be trusted.  This issue of trust enters into nearly all of our relationships, even casual ones.  Can you trust the car fast approaching yours on a cross street to stop before its stop sign?  This issue of trust is a vital component of each of our relationships, it defines what type of individual we are and colors our interactions with our sisters and brothers.

We will first examine further the importance of trust and then look into ways to increase our trustworthiness.

Catching the bridal bouquet

(Fittingly, the youngest lady present caught the bridal bouquet.)

Jesus was much concerned with the issue of trust.  On his last free day before the crucifixion Jesus wanted to be alone in the hills but the lad John Mark insisted in accompanying him.  The full account is a delightful read (see The Urantia Book starting on page 1920).  During this walk Jesus compared his childhood with that of John Mark.  Even though they grew up in different environments, Jesus in rural Galilee and John Mark in urban Jerusalem, both had excellent parents and similar upbringings.  About three years previously John and a young friend, Amos, visited the camp where Jesus was teaching and both boys were captivated by the message.  They went back to their homes in Jerusalem and asked their parents for permission to follow Jesus.  The parents of John Mark agreed and he went back to the camp.  (The Last Supper took place in the upper room of the house where John Mark grew up.)  The parents of Amos would not agree to let him go.  He was tempted to run away anyway, Jesus said if this had happened Jesus would not be able to trust him.  Trust is vital to our relationship with Jesus.  During this conversation Jesus told John that he would be great in the kingdom of heaven because he knew John could be trusted (John Mark later wrote the gospel according to Mark).  

This is one of the reasons we are tested, Michael wants to know if we can be trusted.  Another reason for the testing is to build up our confidence.  As we successfully pass these tests we realize that trusting in God truly does work.  A further reason is that passing these successive tests makes doing God’s will a habit.  Passing these tests also enhances our self-discipline and helps build our character.  These tests increase our trust in God and our awareness of the certainty of His assistance in our daily lives.

The cake

(Gene and I nearly gave the lady who decorated the cake heart failure when we asked for the cake for Doug and Betty Lou.  Blou is the way it should be.)

It is by these episodes of testing that we learn we can trust God and similarly He learns if we can be trusted.  We should rejoice when we are tested to determine our trustworthiness. The greatest affliction of the cosmos is never to have been afflicted. Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation. (The Urantia Book 556.14) Therefore if we are not being “afflicted” then possibly our spiritual quest has not been effective enough to attract attention, Jesus was certainly afflicted.  These seasons of affliction are the events that help bring our spiritual quest into sharper focus and refine our faith.  Can God trust you?

How can we increase out trustworthiness?  One of the most important ways was is total sincerity.  There is a quotation in The Urantia Book that states sincerity is the key to the kingdom of heaven.  This sincerity means that we can be trusted and to attain this level of trusting we must be sincere at all times.  The revelation we have been granted must transform our lives if it is to have any effect on the world and the way to start this transformation is through total sincerity on the part of each student of the revelation. 

Trying to eat the cake

(I had cake on my chin and all over my hands, good fun!)

We also need to work on accepting that God wants to assist us, again we must trust that He wants to help us.  When Machiventa Melchizedek was incarnated on earth he made a formal covenant with Abraham whereby God agreed to help Abraham if only he believed, saying that faith was the only requirement for obtaining God’s favor.  This was a radical statement for those times, there are even many in our own times who cannot accept anything so simple.  They want to put ritual requirements between the individual and God.  These ritual requirements separate us from God, replace faith and trust with ritual and dogma.  We cannot make spiritual progress unless we fully trust Him, trust His presence in our lives and His love for each of us. 

The following affirmation is an acceptance of His guidance in our lives; this must be believed and acted upon, not recited as a mantra (Based on The Urantia Book 1020.6-7).  Accepting and acting upon this covenant is the first step toward increasing our trustworthiness, our spiritual value.
I accept the Melchizedek covenant
That God’s favor is based upon faith alone,
I pledge to follow His guidance
And share the Light of Truth
With my brothers and sisters.

Champagne breakfast setup the morning after

(There was Champagne left over, why not?)

Again, this total sincerity cannot be overemphasized.  When we are dealing with our peers they have only external clues to discern if we are sincere in what we say.  They may look into our eyes or at the way new hold ourselves, or whatever.  They have no certain way to know if we mean what we say.  God however, knows what is in our hearts, what our deepest thoughts are.  We cannot hide our untrustworthy nature from God.  The reason this is important is God wants to know if He can trust us: will we actually do what we promise.  If God fully trusts us there is no limit to His assistance in our lives.

This sincerity is vitally important because if there is the slightest shift from sincerity or trustworthiness it may indicate a shift in the attitude of the soul, that the soul is not focused on doing God’s will.  If we cannot be trusted by God what value do we have?

The young arrived shortly after the wedding

(We previously stopped using our front door to minimize disturbance to the nest which was just in front it.  The eggs hatched around the time of the wedding, the nest builders were Eastern Phoebes (Sayornis phoebe).  It seemed to be only a few days later that the young flew away and the nest was empty. I guess we are empty nesters.)

In his last conversation with God before the crucifixion Jesus prayed for the apostles:  “You gave me twelve men, and I have kept them all save one, the son of revenge, who would not have further fellowship with us. These men are weak and frail, but I know we can trust them; I have proved them; they love me, even as they reverence you. While they must suffer much for my sake, I desire that they should also be filled with the joy of the assurance of sonship in the heavenly kingdom.”  The Urantia Book (1964.2)

Gene took all the photos except for the last one.