This I Believe

Roberta - Brentwood, Tennessee
Entered on September 3, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe in trust – trust in God, who I believe to be goodness, wisdom, and love. This is not a passive thing. It doesn’t come easily.

One day in 1998, I lost my temper at work. The incident was one in which I was afraid I might lose my job. When I got angry, I started to cry and couldn’t stop, so I decided to leave work. I went to my favorite place, Trap pond state park. I walked to the pond. The day was cold but sunny. The wind whipped up ripple and little waves on the pond, and the sun reflected from them in a way I had never seen before. There were oval, coin-sized motes of light shining and moving over the trees on the bank. It was so beautiful I wanted to be part of it. I moved under a tree and raised my arms along its branches. The little ovals of light moved along my clothes and skin and hair. I stood there for about 10 minutes, filled with peace. I left before the phenomenon ended and went back to work. The pond was agitated by the wind and produced beauty. Perhaps I could produce something good at work.

I was involved in a “Course in Miracle” group at that time with Roy Davis, an Episcopal priest. I told the group about my experience. Roy asked me if I knew what God was trying to teach me. When I said I wasn’t sure, he suggested that I aske Him. I spent a weekend asking, over and over. The first thought was a question: “Why did you cry?” When I responded that I cried because I was angry, the answer was :Why were you angry? When I thought about it, I had gotten angry because I was afraid, afraid I would lose my job. The next question asked was “What is the opposite of fear?” I tried answering courage, but the still, small voice rejected that answer. I began to realize that the answer was trust. Courage is doing the right thing in the face of fear. Trust is being willing to give up fear, to turn it over to God. I realized that there was a part of me that liked being afraid, that was unwilling to turn it over.

I thought a lot about that. Two months later, when my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to her liver, and she said “I’m such a coward. I’m so afraid,” I was able to say “Let me tell you about fear”.