For years, I’ve heard that old phrase, “Let Go and Let God.” I always thought that this was a nice, neat way of saying, “I can’t make this thing come out the way I want to, so I’ll just release it into the air. And whatever happens, will.”
Well, I suppose it might be comforting to think that everything is out of our hands . . . and that there is a greater plan for the universe, and we who live in it. And for those who do connect to that thought, it is one that can, I trust, bring comfort.
For those who are not drawn to that way of thinking, there is a delicate balance that I believe we need to engage in, between release and control of all that is part of our life. We need to release what we cannot influence, and focus on what we can. That won’t be everything, but it will be something. And in times of stress – many might say that is the way it feels now in this country of ours – and in times when darkness comes early and stays long – we need to remember where our spiritual core lies, and in the blessings, large and small, that are there for us.
For me, there have been changes to help me navigate this path: I’ve joined a group of friends in forming an “indivisible” group – as I know many of you have – and now have a daily discipline of writing letters, making phone calls, and planning other actions around making my voice heard as a citizen and stake-holder in this country. I’ve been growing paperwhite narcissus and amaryllis bulbs…and I spend a little time each morning looking at them and their progress. I also have a routine, when I rise, of watching the cardinals that live in my forsythia bush, and the squirrel we call “Mary Nibble,” who feasts on our corn feeder outside the window. I check in with friends, reading the writings of several colleagues whose thoughts I treasure. And yes, I also think about church, and the power of faith communities to support people of all ages as we move through times both challenging and beautiful.
I am an advocate of coming to church ‘no matter what.’ No matter the weather, no matter how much else there is on the to-do list, no matter what else is pulling at your hem or your brain. Together, we can worship, celebrate both the triumphs and the challenges. In community. And together, we can recognize the realities of life that are powerful: (1) We cannot control all that happens – much as we would like to think it possible. (2) What we can do is the best we can – and then we have to see how it works out. (3) There are many forces in the universe, and they all have an impact on what we do, see, know, and experience. (4) Sometimes things just don’t work out as we wished. (5) And sometimes, they do. (6) We need to keep our focus on all that we aspire to, no matter what else happens — because those aspirations are the core of who we are.
This is ours to do. Let us do it in a loving and spirit-filled community.