Sunday Morning Musings: As far as the church is concerned this week is often referred to as “Holy Week”, that is to say, the week before Easter. For some, this week begins with a parade known as Palm Sunday and culminates with the celebration of Easter and the resurrection of the Christ. In between these two celebrations we often hear the stories of “fake news” about what was said and when; as well as betrayal and denial by close friends; and mocking and death on a cross. In some instances this week is also known as Passion Week.
Needless to say (but I will say it anyway), my musings have been all over the place. Truly, for many without Easter (the story of the resurrection) there would be nothing. Even in the scriptures, Paul is convinced that without belief in the resurrection our faith is in vain (I Corinthians 15:14). It would almost seem natural that the scientific minded among us would want proof (as did the disciple Thomas). But proof does not exist. Such a statement has led many to the decision that seems so simple – either you are in or you are out.
I have to wonder though, whether or not if life is that simple. As I have remarked many times before, we seem to be a people who want answers. There is no doubt that we have lots of questions, questions about nearly everything. We want to know who was at fault when something doesn’t happen the way we think it should; we want to have explained (usually in simple terms) what things happen when they do. I am told that a good detective doesn’t like to use the term “coincidence”. As I mentioned previously in my musings, like Stephen Hawking, we want to know the “reason for everything”.
One of the most difficult tasks I have found is that of letting go. More than nought, I want to control the outcomes of those things in which I find myself involved. For some, such control issues affect one’s mental health – one of the conditions experienced by some is called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). To some extent we all feel the need to determine the outcome. Sometimes it can be as simple as feeling that anything less than a “home run” is a failure. (Trivia fact: did you know that Babe Ruth struck out three times more than he his home runs?)
Of course, due to the society in which we live, words and concepts can take on different meanings. Letting go or surrendering is often viewed as a negative action. Yet, time and time again we are told in one way of another that “in losing our life we shall find it”. Too often when the outcome is not what we expect we will play the blame and shame card – blame someone or something or feel the shame of not being good enough. Letting go often means stepping back from “judgment” and then we can begin the journey to wholeness with all of creation.
The Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, wrote in her book, When Things Fall Apart (Shambhala, Boston, 2000): If we’re willing to give up hope that insecurity and pain can be exterminated, then we can have the courage to relax with the groundlessness of our situation. This is the first step on the path. (p.38).
Letting go feels risky. On the other hand, how will we know unless we do? Letting go means to stop judging our actions or those around us and find a way to move forward.