When we stop struggling, we float.
When first learning how to swim, I didn’t trust the deep. No matter how many assuring voices I heard, I strained and flailed about to keep my chin above the surface. It exhausted me, and took years before I would learn that only when exhausted did I relax enough to immerse myself to the point that I could feel the cradle of the deep keep me afloat.
I’ve come to understand that this is the struggle we all replay between doubt and faith. When thrust into any situation over our head, our reflex is to fight with all our might the terrible feeling that we are sinking. Yet the more we resist, the more we feel our own weight and wear ourselves out.
At times like this, I remember learning to float. Mysteriously, it required letting almost all of me rest below the surface before the deep would hold me up. The practice of finding our faith is very much like that – we need to rest enough of ourselves below the surface of things until we find ourselves upheld.
This is very hard to do. But the essence of trust is believing you will be held up if you let go. And though we can practice relaxing our fear and meeting the deep, there is no real way to prepare for letting go other than to just let go.
Once below the surface, it is not by chance that things slow down and go clear. Perhaps faith is nothing more than taking the risk to rest below the surface. We must choose the deep again and again in order to live fully. We must move through the sense of sinking before being upheld. That is what trusting is all about.