An apprentice toils up a mountainside. He can’t reach the top alone. He knows that. That is the whole point of this test after all, to show him he needs help.
This also he knows.
Still, he has packed carefully. A sword. Water. Flint and steel. Rope and grapples. Food. Extra blankets.
If he has to wait for help to reach the top, then he’ll be safe. If he falls, he can catch himself. It weighs him down, but so what so long as he can make it most of the way safely?
And so he climbs. Stumbles. Climbs some more.
Until he finally reaches an impassible cliff, swaying with exhaustion, shoulders chafed and sore, one grapnel lost and water long gone.
Overhead, his mentor sits on top of the cliff. And he laughs. Laughs and shakes his head and laughs again.
“You do realize who I am, right?” He dashes away tears of mirth. “You knew I’d be watching to make sure you were safe. You knew I’d help you, no matter what mountain you climbed or where you finally reached your limit. And still… still you chose the one you thought you could almost reach the top on your own. Still you insisted on the rope and grapnels. When will you trust me enough just spend your strength climbing?” He drops lightly to the ground and shakes his head, clasping the apprentice with one hand to steady him. “I can help, no matter if you climb the smallest mountain or the highest. So why don’t you stop trying to make things easy for me, do what you can, and leave the rest to me?”
The inspiration for this snippet of speech came to me while listening to a song over the radio on the way home from shopping. I don’t even remember the song, only that it was one I’d heard a number of times before.
But it struck me different that afternoon.
As Christians, we all pray, of course. We know what God can do in our heads.
Then we proceed to do all we can and fix up safety nets and solutions to ‘what ifs.’
And I can just picture the great Teacher and Creator crossing his arms and shaking his head with a laugh: I can help you a tiny bit or a large bit with no extra effort to myself. You honestly think I need you to make things easy for me? Get over yourself and get moving.
It was an amusing picture.
It was also a very thought-provoking one, especially for someone who does want to do everything themselves and has half a dozen alternate plans in case one doesn’t work. (a.k.a. a certain INTJ who definitely isn’t myself.)
Now, this isn’t to say a person shouldn’t actually act, of course.
The apprentice sitting at the bottom of the mountain won’t get anywhere, no matter if he picks the lowest mountain or the highest. And planning a path instead of blundering one’s way into an avalanche due to lack of foresight is foolish, to say the least.
So yes, we still need to work and to act and to think.
But when it comes to trust in God, our reliance on Him ought to be steady, be it for a short story or a novel; a single class or a master’s degree in college, a confrontation with a friend or a major step in a relationship.
So long as we are climbing the mountain God has called us to and are working in His will, we can rely completely on Him. When things get hard, don’t stress yourself with planning all these details to ‘make it easy for God to bring about His will.’ Trust in Him. Continue in faith. And watch Him work.