Last week on the final day of our vacation, a pickpocket got my wallet. It was a classic rip-off: I was tired, distracted by trying to validate some bus tickets, and in an area with high tourist traffic. There were at least two, maybe three guys that pretended to be getting on the bus at the same moment I was; they crowded around me so closely that I could hardly move and in an instant, my wallet was gone. I didn’t notice until several bus stops later.
We were rocked back on our heels – dazed by the sudden change in our situation. The money we had gotten from an ATM to pay for our hotel was gone; all the credit cards were gone along with my driver’s license and all the myriad of stuff that gets into a wallet over 10 years. We had to make new plans, find some more cash for the hotel, call the banks, and rethink the remainder of our day.
There are some pretty obvious lessons that grow out of an event like this: don’t travel with a wallet in your pocket; watch out in big cities where lots of tourists are found; be more aware of your surroundings, etc….. While these practical lessons are good to consider, there were some other thoughts that came later, after the panic and sense of being violated had subsided a bit. Why do I imagine that I am in control of things, even the things that I call “mine”? Why do I try so hard to manipulate people and events so that things turn out the way I like them? Why do I worry so much about everything? When I give myself to worry, or when I manipulate the people and events around me I am saying to God: “I don’t trust you to take care of these things. You probably won’t handle them the way I want them handled. So, I’ll just do it myself, thanks.”
So, God let me “take care of things” that day. In doing so, he helped me understand that he is far more trustworthy than I am. Maybe, just maybe, I can turn over to him some of the stuff I fret about so often. Maybe I can start putting my trust where it really belongs, and not in myself.