Trust is important to our society


His eyes bored into me “You're late,” he snapped.

“I was clearing my desk.”

“You should have done that before.”

“When I came in last time it was to see if I wanted this job - not to clear my desk.”

“How long does it take,” he sneered “to clear your desk? You should have been here three minutes ago.”

I decided to stand up to him. “I am not going to be talked to like this. Either you apologise, or I leave.” My colleague signalled at me to back down; her eyes saying that I would not win this one. But I wouldn't. Having given my ultimatum, I held my ground.

Neither of us budged - so I walked out and away from1783973727ed7952d57m my dream job. Then I woke up!

Scary. As I came to I wondered what it was all about, as nothing like this has ever happened to me. On reflection I realised that it was connected with a conversation I had had the previous day when I was talking to some friends about the heavy hand of some companies when it comes to their employees. I had driven home thankful that although my job with a small charity is very much hand to mouth as far as our financial security is concerned; nothing like this could ever happen there.

Her experience of being off work, with a sick child to look after and HR on her back all the time to return is so different to mine. Her friend was telling a similar story. Every movement scrutinized, everything double-checked. What was missing was any element of trust between the companies concerned and their employees.

Which brings me back to the constant monitoring that we as a society are being subjected to. Surveillance cameras everywhere and I swear that as I walked passed Marks and Spencer in Norwich on Wednesday morning, I heard one of those talking cameras telling me off for something. Children are being assessed from seven upwards, when their continental brothers and sisters are being allowed to develop without such over-bearing interference.

A society that has forgotten how to trust has to control instead. Tha129693919587aebd0c42mt is how police states operate. They do not trust anyone to do what they have promised or contracted to do. So everything has to be meticulously controlled which takes an enormous amount of paperwork, manpower and, in the case of an individual who is controlling, emotional energy. Lack of trust spreads insidiously throughout structures. The time taken to monitor the outcomes become more than the time taken to achieve them. What madness.

Of course, trust is something that is built up over time through the give and take of relationships and once it is broken, it is hard to put it back. Our whole banking system is based on trust and we are now experiencing the reality of those institutions collapsing because their greed has meant that they have borrowed money against hyped collateral. We no longer trust them and the Bank of England has to step in to persuade us not to withdraw our hard-earned savings.

1275927997a243b146f8mWhat is happening now is a basic lack of faith. By government in its citizens, which is why life in Britain is beginning to feel like living in a police state. By citizens in its government, which is why many people no longer bother to vote. By companies, which is why they are so heavy handed with staff. By each of us with each other which is why we no longer smile as we pass in the street.

When I was going through a difficult experience, all I could hear God say was, “Trust in me.” He was asking me to have faith in him to work out the consequences, and to trust him to keep me safe. He was asking me to give him control and not to try to work everything out for myself. It is only now that I can see how much I have always wanted to control my world. It is why I am always more tempted to do rather than pray. It is basically a way of protecting myself again things going wrong, or of being hurt. I see the effects of my wanting to take control everywhere and it is hard to change.

All the way through the Old Testament, God asks the Israelites to trust him. Jesus continues the theme in the New Testament. His sweaty battle in prayer on Gethsemane is about trusting his heavenly father. He shows us the way as he exercises no control whatsoever over his fate when the Romans arrest him, beat him and crucify him. His resurrection and his invitation to us of a new life in him when we believe, is the outcome of that total surrender and trust.

By courtesy of the EDP website