Monday, May 18, 2009

Learning to Love Letting Go


Scaffolding rose up toward the ceiling where the altar usually stands at the front of the church. Even though this was a special day for my son to celebrate Communion, we were not going to be kneeling at our familiar altar. Nothing was usual.

When I first heard the stained glass window was to be re-installed and the church would be in disarray, all I could think was “bad planning”. In my life, both personally and professionally, I plan everything. Schedules, timetables, and details are paramount.

But I think God had a strong message for me today.

The makeshift altar and distribution held the same promise. This Christian family meal provided the same joy of celebration with the millions of Christians who have lived or will live around the world. Life can’t be typical with so many people in the chaotic throws of life. You can’t plan everything with thoughts and power crashing in all directions.

When I became pregnant with my first son, a colleague told me having a child would be good for me because I would have to learn to let go. Everything would not go exactly as I expected. For the past dozen years, her words were a daily invitation to put each instance in perspective. I have changed.

Today’s free-wheeling service took my thoughts a step further and made me appreciate the unexpected, embrace the uncontrollable unknown. After all, earthly objects are immaterial.

A couple of weeks ago, our seminarian preached about his first time in our church. Our minister told him how he loved the stained glass window of the Ascension. As Jesus rises, the disciples are all standing around with expressions on their faces which seem to ask “Where are you going and what are we supposed to do?”

I ask myself the same thing everyday.

Today I realized I'm supposed to take Communion even when there’s no altar and be glad while I do it. After I am fed, I'm responsible for feeding, or looking after, others.
In life we often have to succeed with a failed plan. We will, by letting go of our perceived failure and finding joy in the situation.

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