In the flying and spinning Nouwen saw more than an exhilarating show, he saw theology in motion. He observed that the flyer – the person soaring through the air – is really not the star of the trapeze performance. While everyone is focused on the flyer’s aerial manoeuvres, they sometimes fail to see that the manoeuvres are only possible because the flyer fully trusts that he will be caught. Everything depends on the catcher. This led Nouwen to a new way of understanding his life with God.“I can only fly freely when I know there is a catcher to catch me.”, he wrote.
Nouwen’s trapeze exemplifies faith. Faith is the opposite of seeking control. It is surrendering control. This is only possible when we have total assurance that we are safe. I have learnt over the past 50 years that this assurance only comes when we trust that our Heavenly Father desires to be with us and will not let us fall.
In Matthew 11:29-30 (MSG), Jesus says: Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace…. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
This invitation is to us all to have a Life With Faith in God. May we all discover this in a deeper and fresh way this autumn.
Rachael Orrell, CEO of Saltmine Trust