Open to the Field of Grace

You’ve probably heard the ol’ saw, “Let go and let God.”

Yeah…well…I confess that ol’ saw never set too well with me. I’m generally not one to let go of anything. Ever. Not even once. Not without a fight anyway. So it took a long time for me to entertain the idea that I could abandon my troubles into God’s lap. It took even longer to realize that trusting everything is perfect, whole and complete right now is a fundamental building block of grace.

It’s like flying on the trapeze. I’ve always been fascinated by people who could fly through the air with the greatest of ease, releasing and grasping thin little sticks suspended from ropes high above the ground. Once the acrobat lets go of the swing, she is soaring in the air free of any supports until the catcher grabs her wrists and swings her to safety. Essentially, the flying trapeze requires the acrobat to gather up speed so she can launch herself at another person who will – if all goes well – save her from a nasty fall.

This is just like life.

A fluid, graceful approach to life requires letting go of what no longer works and embracing whatever comes your way. When you’re living your life and you’ve clung to the bar as far it’s going to take you, you have to let go of it so, for just a moment of time, you are floating in the air. And since humans aren’t normally born with wings, this can be a scary thing. However, if you hang onto the bar, refusing to loosen your grip, the only way you can now go is backwards. You will swing back to the platform, perhaps with a bump and a lurch, which can also be scary. You may never leave that platform again. Humiliated, you end up climbing down the little ladder, forever missing the excitement of the flying, even for just a few moments.

On the way down, you will probably beat yourself up for chickening out. You might even wonder, “Why?” Honestly and logically, you probably didn’t trust the other acrobat to catch you. You probably filled your head with stories of how they were going to miss your outstretched hands. You could only see yourself careening into the safety net. And maybe if you’re like me, you probably saw the net breaking, dropping you to the ground and the ambulance rushing you to the hospital.

There’s nothing like fantasies of catastrophe to slow a girl down.

When you don’t trust the future, you try to control every little thing. Each aspect is micromanaged to death. Life doesn’t work when you’re clinging to the past or frightened of the future. Life works best if you are devoted to squeezing the last little bit of juice from the ever present ‘now.’

Of course, flying isn’t much fun if the catcher doesn’t grab your wrists. You don’t have much control over that. You can only put your arms out in the expectation that they will. And there’s the net, just in case! But either way, you’re safe. Bouncing isn’t as much fun as flying but you can always climb back up that ladder and try again.
Grace sometimes asks us to adapt.

4 March 2015

With Blessings - Reverend Shari.