If I trust You, everything else will become, for me, strength, health, and support. Everything will bring me to heaven. If I do not trust You, everything will be my destruction. 32

Jesus said,

strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

Merton says, “trust” and you will have everything you need. Jesus says, “strive” and all your needs will be provided. I prefer Merton’s “trust” to Jesus’ “strive.”

But Jesus also said,

‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, “Be lifted up and thrown into the sea”, it will be done. (Matthew 21:21)

Is there a way of “striving” that looks like faith and trust?

A kingdom is the realm of a sovereign. Wherever a kingdom is proclaimed the ruler of that realm is respected, honoured and understood to be in power. “The kingdom of God” is symbolic language used to speak of the presence and action of God. To “strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness” means to open to God’s presence at work in my life and in the world.

“Striving” for the kingdom means trusting in that presence. When I trust in the presence of God, I know that I am living in God’s kingdom and that everything I need in my life is provided.

When I live as if God is absent, “everything will be my destruction.” When I fail to honour the presence and action of God at work in all of life, I dishonour creation, abuse my human relationships, and damage my own life from within.

The call of Christian life is to do all I can (“strive”) to open to that presence in whom I am called to place absolute trust. This trust is the means by which I find my true meaning in life and resolve those obstacles that appear like “mountains” in the way of achieving the fullness of my humanity.

How do I see the possibility of striving to trust in God?

What obstacles do I perceive in my life that might hinder me from achieving the fullness of my humanity?