touched, not strangled. You've got to relax, let it happen at times, and at
others move forward with it. It's like boats. You keep your motor on so
you can steer with the current. And when you hear the sound of the
waterfall coming nearer and nearer, tidy up the boat, put on your best tie
and hat, and smoke a cigar right up till the moment you go over.
That's a triumph.”
Ray Bradbury, Farewell Summer
I have a pair of shoes I need to send back to a company right now. They're sitting in my closet. I have them carefully wrapped and don't know my next step because I've never done it with this company before. It got me thinking... do I have something ready to give to God, but can't because I don't know how? Maybe I've done it before with something else, another company, but not with other things. So, I'm paralyzed by my lack of information. As far as the shoes go, all I have to do is make a phone call and follow the instructions. Is that all I need to do with God?
This brought me to the thought that letting go of things is ever-changing. Each and every different thing we need to let go of in order to live a full life is separately and uniquely different, requires different things and different things from each one us. What it may take of you to let go of something may not be what it will take of me. How do we navigate this then when the rules are never the same and vary from person to person? I can make that phone call to one company who will tell me one thing, and to another who will give me a completely different set of directions. No wonder many of us walk around dumbfounded. No wonder it's part of the human condition to be stuck in situations that are long past their due.
We all have those moments. Moments seared into our minds we knew had changed us. Times where, as they were happening, we sensed an almost surreal significance. We sensed growth as time almost folded in on itself. Resonant, reverberant; a steadfast call of attention. The death of my father. The day I got married, then the day I signed the divorce papers. And then there's the first time I chose to stay sober on my own. These events have formed me into who I am now. They were all full of emotion. They all had that quality of stillness you get from being alone in the woods looking up at the night sky or seeing someone familiar do something unfamiliar, and seeing them for the very first time. How we choose to view it is what makes or breaks us. It's like the purpose of these moments is to clue you in that the choice you are about to make is life-altering; that it's not just like buying a lamp or writing on a chalkboard. It's God's right to expand your territory; his manifest destiny.
I'm going to call the shoe company and write down the instructions. I am going to follow-through and send them back. I am letting them go, moving on to a better shoe. The first step is always the hardest. Momentum is a very powerful key. What I have to remember is that there is not just this one pair of shoes in the world. I will never know what better fit is out there for me if I don't have the courage to give up one idea, prepare for the next new one and hold my breathe as my boat plummets into the water below. It is scary, yes, but you've got a life preserver...