During times of transition, what we most need to practice is “ruthless trust.” Brennan Manning has written a brilliant book by that title and tells the story of John Kavanaugh who went to work for three months at “the House of the Dying” in Calcutta. He went not only to give help, but to receive it. He was seeking a clear answer as how best to spend the rest of his life.
The first morning there, he met Mother Teresa. She asked, “And what can I do for you?” Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for?” she asked. He voiced a request he had long been burdened about and had come half a world seeking the answer for: “Pray that I have clarity.” To that simple but sincere request, she said firmly, “No, I will not do that.” When he asked her why, she said, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed. “I have never had clarity, what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”
Source: Alan Ahlgrim, Rocky Mountain View (Newsletter from Rocky Mountain Christian Church, March 5, 2002). Cited from Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust, Harper: SanFrancisco, October 2000.