The Rev. Nancy E. Gossling
Letting go is hard work, and it’s daily work. I usually think I’m done with letting go, and then I get a reminder. I have a habit of wanting to get where I’m going, sooner rather than later, and then rest in my “happy place.” I tend to do things quickly. Although I have no speeding tickets, I frequently use cruise control, and not just on highways.
Walking has helped me to slow down. Claiming my life-long vocation as a pilgrim helps to remind me that the journey isn’t over until it’s over. And why would I want to rush to the end?
Part of the challenge of my life, and perhaps yours, is that I always have “unfinished business.” Some people can happily live with unfinished business, but not me. I’m a list maker, project completer, and “let’s deal with the issues” kind of person. I like attending to business, sooner rather than later. I like to finish what I start. I don’t like dangling participles, hanging chads, or messy lives. As a highly organized person, I like my business to have structure and clear lines of communication. Personally, I can overreach. Some times I think I’m minding my own business, as opposed to someone else’s, and then I get that reminder. It’s their business to finish, not mine. Let it go; leave it alone; shut your mouth.
Recently, I became aware of some of my own business that I thought was finished; clearly it is not. I pondered some questions. Why can’t I finish this? I want to be done with it. Can I finish this business now, once and for all? If so, how? And if I truly can’t finish it now, then when? or why not?
Sadly, I realized that I had come to a point where I truly needed to let go. I felt as if I had done everything humanly possible to address this business over a significant and extended period of time. I had been counselled by many different types of people with various perspectives. I had tried many remedies. I gave it time and space and grace; and it remains unfinished. This business reared its ugly head, stared me straight in the face, and laughed.
What has finally occurred to me is that this business may never be finished on this side of the Great Divide. This business may be finished in God’s hands, but not in mine. Recently, a colleague posted a picture about letting go on FaceBook. It was entitled: “Control. Things I can’t control are other people’s actions, other people’s feelings, other people’s opinions, other people’s mistakes, and adversity. Things I can control are my attitude, my effort, my behavior, and my actions.”
My attitude may be bad, but prayer adjusts it. My efforts may feel unsuccessful, but life is about being faithful not successful. I still manage my bad behavior with cruise control; and my actions remain the same. I’m letting go. Again. Today. Business is finished. Thank God.