Let Go | Embrace
As I prepare to enter a new season in the church calendar, the Lenten invitation is one that walks me down a path of trust towards renewed life, a challenge to ‘let go and embrace’
Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. - Proverbs 3:5-6
This verse is my mantra for Lent, the chant of ancient wisdom ringing in my ears as a guide that will govern my journey.
Trust is such a fickle reality in my life, a frequently changing dynamic that is monitored by my response to the challenges that life throws at me. Defined as reliance and entity it suggests a link to a ‘mysterious other’ an ‘unknown quantity’ that we must lean into to find strength and support. As a divine entity, trust is looking for a compliant dance partner who will accept the invitation to join the heavenly perichoresis and submit to its guidance and leading.
Learning to trust in God is a little bit like groping through the darkness on a blind date with destiny, hoping like crazy that things will work out in my favor. To let go and be led is to trust that we are in safe hands, our life on track. On this adventure we will need to face our demons, rely on others and listen well to the voice of God that hums in every fabric of life.
The first stage of the journey is internal, learning to trust from the bottom of our heart, not just an exercise of passionate focus or energetic effort but a realisation that deep in the heart of our shadow self are memories that have been formed through mis-trust, moments in life that nurtured a suspicious and guarded tendency towards others and God. We have all had experiences where our trust has been tested through the fires of relationship only to come out scorched, 'once bitten twice shy.’ Our hearts are a mixed bag, a rich well of untapped potential and a tainted spiring of bitter sweet experience. This is where trust must do her best work in us, working with the remnants of a broken heart in order to move us forward into new found health.
Trust is hard to come by. Thats why my circle is small and tight. I’m kind of funny about making new friends. - Eminem
We are then ready for the next stage where we open the door again to the realisation that we cannot figure everything out on our own and must trust in our fellow humanity, those who have gone before us who have learned the valuable lessons of life and carved a pathway through the debris of relational tension, those who walk beside us who provide some objective perspective. Out of the death of mistrust comes a resurrected trust in the form of a new humanity.
As this interaction intensifies the song of hope starts to reverberate in all of life and we begin to hear the unique sound of God in our garden again. Everywhere in everything we hear the vibration of transcendence like the proverbial google maps voice-over guiding us through the terrain of life like a sherpa who is unafraid of inclement conditions, exuding a confidence that suggests we are on track. Hearing God is not about trying to cross every ’t’ and dot every ‘i’, a detailed map of pin point accuracy, but an exercise in awareness and trust, that no matter where we find ourself God is present and fully involved in our life.
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
Trust is our ‘once upon a time’ and our life on track is the 'happily ever after’, the book ends of life that hold our story together enabling us to grapple with everything in between.