Few of us can hear the phrase, Let It Go, without first thinking of all things Frozen, Disney, Elsa, Olaf and ice castles. Some of us are charmed by the music, the lyrics and others of us consider it a vile ear worm. Regardless of your reaction, the phrase had origins before the movie or the song made famous by the movie and dozens of covers of the song. The most original of versions might be Let Go and Let God.
This morning as I prepare to fly to San Francisco, then tomorrow to Philadelphia and Tel Aviv, then two weeks on a group pilgrimage in the Holy Land, followed by a week in Jordan and NYC with my wonderful husband, I am reminded how much I needed to observe the practice of Let it Go. The following is a list of just a few of those things:
1. My sweet, zany, adorable, neurotic, Xanax-taking dog, Holly who can't understand suitcases or the fact that I do intend to return to her
2. The church work that will all be here when I return
3. Lenten series and the fact that there will be a guest preacher for three of the six weeks of Lent
5. The illusion that on most days I control my schedule, my waking and sleeping, where I go and when I go there, etc. For two weeks, I'll be with 28 of my "best" friends, so it is likely that I will NOT have nearly as much control of what I do and when I do it.
6. Culture and a Western way of living
7. Perfection/Performance - This morning I was faced again with the ugly fact that I do hate "unforced" errors.
I asked a church member to help me and pray for my ability to Let Go and Let God. She reminded me of a story from Zen Shorts. Paraphrased, the Zen master is traveling and comes upon a very wealthy woman who needs help crossing a river. She is demanding, nagging and complaining the whole time. After the master and his student complete their task they travel on for some time. Finally, the student is still steaming about this woman's lack of gratitude and respect and asks the master how he can not be angry and upset about this after all they had done for her. The master simply said to his student, "I put the woman down over an hour ago, I don't understand why you are still carrying her."
The prophet Isaiah says:
Let Go and Let God. May this be my guiding phrase for today, tomorrow and the foreseeable and distant future. That same God willing, my next entry will be from the Galilee region.