Letting Go is Hard
“No, let me do it!” My 4 year old daughter defiantly glared at me. She had accidentally popped off her Barbie doll’s head and was dutifully attempting to replace it. But her eye-to-hand coordination and her ability to tolerate a frustrating longer-than-expected task was lacking. Anger, mixed with fear, quickly took over. Throwing the doll’s body across the room, she screamed, “I never wanted this dumb doll anyway.”
I knew better. And I was learning to step back and let her reach her limit, before gently asking if I could help.
Perhaps that’s Jesus talking too? Perhaps Jesus knows that our human-ness is going to hold out as long as we can stand it before coming to him, weary and burdened. Notice Jesus does not invite folks who have it together, are well rested, and have light burdens. He invites us who are ready to make a switch.
But letting go of burdens that have become a part of us – part of our identity – is hard. I am an adult child of alcoholism. Yet, as I continue to let go of that marker of identity, and its burdens and exhaustion, I find familial alcoholism blending into a beautiful mosaic that makes me *me* – in my entirety. My family’s alcoholism no longer claims the largest part of who I am.
Could letting go of all that holds us in tyranny *be* the rest for our souls that Jesus mentions? And – with his yoke, might we finally become whole?
Holy One, we cling and hoard and hide our heavy burdens, perhaps out of fear of the transformation you offer when we let them go. Today, gently give us a vision of our wholeness that you offer. Help us loosen our grips, finger by finger, until our palms open wide. To let go and to receive. Amen.
Cristine Warring is the pastor of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) – Girard in rural southeast Kansas.
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