Letting Go

by Christine Sine

by Diane Woodrow

Christine’s post Relinquish, Let Go  and Lily’s post on Jesus going into the wilderness, I think, sit hand in hand. Letting go of things is like going into the wilderness. We’ve got used to what we do and we do it well, so why let go? Some of the reason can be that, like with Christine, new projects call us and there are only so many hours in the day. Some of the reasons are that even though we might have the time and the energy they are not what God has for us. Now that can be a hard one. It’s one I’m going through so I can speak from experience. I was doing a few writing workshops and projects and working with children, which I am also good at and love. In fact I wasn’t doing as much as I used to do in my 40s and I still had the energy to do it, but something was niggling in the back of my head/heart. 

You know that feeling when God’s still small voice is pulling on you. Those things you love are not giving you the joy they used to. You put it down to needing more zinc, hormones being out of sync, partner/children not pulling their weight, seasonal light deficiency. So you change your diet, get a SAD lamp, sort out a chores list for the family, but still something isn’t quite right. 

For me God got fed up of me not listening and it was my 84 year old mother’s health scare that brought things to a grinding halt. No worries she is fine now she’s slowed down a bit and decided she isn’t 30 any more. But the worry of her not being around and me being so busy that I didn’t have time to drive down country for 6 hours to see her. So it caused me to have to rethink things and hold things lightly.

But isn’t it a shame that I didn’t hear that still small voice in my heart that was trying so hard to tell me not necessarily to slow down but that there are things that I was doing that I am not meant to be doing. Interestingly in everything I do now those I work with know that if there is another health scare I will drop everything and just go. And of course, because I’m only doing the things God wants me to everyone I work with is content with that. 

Not just in the “big wide world” but in Church circles there is so often that push to be busy. The question “what have you been up to this week/today?” comes up when you meet. “Where have you been worshipping/serving God?” And if one hasn’t got a full schedule one feels like one could be missing out on some form of service/ministry/doing! Added to that the inner jealousies that other people have “ministries” and you’re just bumbling about drinking tea!

Jesus going into the wilderness just after he’d been baptised and God had affirmed him as his son was not a good PR move. In our fast paced world his “team” would have told him to grab the opportunity immediately because if he didn’t someone else might. But Jesus was secure in not just who he was but in what he was meant to do. 

Did you know that if you acted out the gospels and all the things Jesus did and said in them it would not last that long at all? Jesus had lots of down time, lots of time that was not worth recording in any of the gospels, lots of time just being, not just with God but with his disciples, his friends and even, I think, his family. 

Hanging out not just for the sake of “friendship evangelism” or as a “teaching opportunity” but, I think, he was hanging out to enjoy other people’s company. We can learn so much from hanging out with other people and also find out more about ourselves. We also need quiet time not just for praying, not studying, not reading but just being and letting the world flow past. 

So perhaps we all need some time over this Lenten season to stop, to think about whether the things, whether many or few, are what God really wants us to be doing. And then be brave enough to have gaps in our lives where there is nothing to do!

And I’ll finish with Christine’s poem from Monday’s meditation

Stay close to your inner world,
Travel slowly through the hidden corridors
Of your heart.

Listen quietly not for answers,
But for the questions
Hiding beneath the stress,
Of your uncertainty.
Do not be afraid,
Of what you will uncover,
Of what you might relinquish,
If you become honest
With yourself.


Christine’s Lenten Bundle

Resources to enrich your lenten celebration. Includes downloads of: A Journey Into Wholeness, Lent/Easter Prayer Cards, and 40 Daily Ideas Guide for Lent.

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