The Art of Letting Go

I’m an interfering wench… I mean, doesn’t all of life work so much better if I’m right there to pet it and cajole it and help it along?  No?  Are you *sure*?  Hm.

It’s hard for me to do my work and then let go and walk away.  I wouldn’t write so much about how necessary and blessed it is if I didn’t have it in front of my face!  It is especially hard for me because my “work” tends not to be physical work – I’ve never had a problem just cleaning something or doing work for an employer and walking away when it was done.  Finis!  No, I’m talking about emotional work, or “helping” work – you know, the “I’ll make life nice for this person” stuff.  Figuring out when you’re done and you need to step back is tricky.  

For me, the trick tends to be concentrating on God-as-employer.  God’s my boss – so I want to do all things as unto Him.  But I also must surrender my specific tasks to Him… so it’s not “I should make everything perfect for X” – no, my job is to “bake a cake” or “have this phone conversation”.   Do you see the difference?  I see it, but oh it’s hard to just stop after the job is done.  I can see so much more than needs work!  I’m an emotional workaholic.  -rueful laughter-  You know what that indicates?  That I’m working for *myself* – my own sense of satisfaction – not working for God.  (Ouch, btw).

I have been thinking of this in the context of … well, everything… but especially in the context of BFF and her cancer.  I’d LOVE to go just go barge in and arrange their lives for them.  But that’s *not* my job – in fact, if I start doing that, I’ll interfere with the lessons that God is trying to teach them during this time of trial.  I can do lots of helpful things, but they have to be tasks, not systems.  

The next year of my life is going to be full of lessons.  For one thing, I think I just figured out why all my church volunteerism has been put on the backmost backburner.  Guess maybe I had other work waiting for me.  Heck, even my pastor “magically” decided to preach through Ecclesiastes.  Who’s ever heard of a preacher preaching through that book on Sunday morning?  

God really DOES have everything coordinated.  I don’t like it – so many, many ways in which I don’t like it – but that’s really not my problem, now is it?

Not today’s verse, but the passage that was chosen for the front of our announcement page………

 Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—

A time to give birth and a time to die;

A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.

Play your part in the orchestra of life, play it with all your might, and don’t worry about directing.  Surrender. 

I’m not going to lie and say I’m doing this very well, but I do know what I have to do.  

1 thought on “The Art of Letting Go

  1. Heather

    Well said. I can definitely relate and pray you will see clearly how to best support your friend at this time.


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