When I consider belief, like many other people, I think back to my childhood religious instruction. Was I was in first grade, my CCD classroom met in some rickety classroom of my local parish school. To be honest, I don’t remember much of that year, except my shepherd’s costume in the Christmas play and my guardian angel. The sweet old woman who ran the class explained that every one had a guardian angel, someone special to look after us and to protect us from the world’s harm. She told us that she had named her guardian angel Trust, and encouraged us to name our own. I was stumped and decided to copy her model.
I can’t imagine a more appropriate name for a guardian angel, or a more appropriate virtue about which to build one’s beliefs. I believe strongly in trust, especially in this world that is constantly changing and that is seemingly more dangerous than that of our parents. I believe that this is the time when trust is most desperately needed. It is only too easy to feel overwhelmed by reports of unsafe schools, the phantom of terror, political and professional scandal, and fears of new epidemics. How can we cope when the sky is seemingly falling on our heads?
I once had an assignment notebook for school with inspirational quotes printed in the margins. Most of the quotes were mediocre, but I specifically remember one that read: “We cannot control the wind, but we can direct the sails”. That phrase struck a chord with me then, and still rings true today. No one person can control this world, fix every problem, and right every wrong. However, every person can control his or her own reaction to the world, and work to ensure that that reaction is a positive force. In focusing on our abilities, and trusting in them, and not on our inabilities, hope does remain for our future.
I believe strongly that trust will see us through both the good times and the bad. Trust in the essential goodness of every person; trust that the right answer will eventually be found, even if that means exercising all the wrong answers; trust that the future will bring something brighter and something better; trust in a higher power; all trust will sustain us.
And so I believe that there is a guardian angel inside of all of us. A faith in family and friends, past instruction and future potential, will protect and guide us just as Trust protected and guided my faith class teacher and will assuredly protect and guide you. Don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith. Trust that someone will catch you when you fall. This I believe.
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