Recently I was faced with a decision: I could adopt the attitude, “I have to trust the Lord,” or choose instead “I will trust the Lord.” “Have to” strikes me as begrudging and willful, a reluctant acceptance of an undesirable situation. Too often I plant myself firmly in that mindset. “I will trust” seems confident and assured, a moving forward in relationship.
I checked in the dictionary for the denotative meanings of “have” and “will,” and lo and behold, found some insight into this dilemma. (Often I look up familiar words to discover the “third” and “fourth” meanings because they often provide the nuance I want in my writing.)
The meaning of “have” includes owning, possessing, consuming, to hold mentally, to engage in. “Will” indicates habit, determination, expectation, or possibility. “Have” seems to anchor us in the present. “Will” points to the future.
I wonder if we can apply this outlook to our work in the arts. If I approach a chance to be creative with the “I have to trust” attitude, I anchor myself in the present, which may prevent me from moving forward imaginatively. (Admittedly, many of us could stand to be more attuned to the present moment, so this sure isn’t a rule!) If I adopt a “will”ingness to trust, I am more open to what is possible in creativity, more willing to experiment with new ideas to see where they lead.
Perhaps with this trusting confidence I can glide more smoothly into my writing, art, and life. I am more open to an imaginative relationship with God.