Faith is a complex concept that pervades our entire life. Faith is difficult for us to have because we wish to stay in control and we don’t want to feel as if we have gone out of control.
While faith has many aspects, the most important is the willingness to relinquish control. If a mother has been helping her child learn to ride a bicycle, and the child has done a fair job in learning it, the mother needs to sooner or later let go of the child so that she can ride. If the mother doesn’t let the child go, the child can never learn to ride alone and most importantly the child can’t believe that her mother trusts her.
Of course, in this situation, the mother is in control – she can hold on to the child. Our normal relationship with Krishna is the opposite – he is in control. But we do have an illusion of control that we want to hold on to very strongly. Moreover, we do have some level of control for some time during the course of our life. And that control is something we don’t want to give up.
Arjuna expresses his faith in Krishna by relinquishing control – at the start of the Gita (02.07) by surrendering to Krishna and accepting his instruction, as would a surrendered disciple. And at the end of the Gita (18.73), he expressed his faith by his willingness to carry out Krishna’s will.
In our life, we often face adversities and perplexities when we just don’t know what to do and how to do it. In such situations, if we let go and let God act, and open ourselves to his plan for us, instead of frantically trying somehow to hold on to our plan for things, we will then discover the security, sweetness and magic of faith and surrender, of the wonderful ways in which God acts in ways better than what we could have thought of.