Anxiety. Worrying. Brooding. Dwelling.
These are things I do well.
I know worrying does no good, yet at this point it is a habit and habits are hard to break. This idea of letting go of fear and living free sounds amazing to me, yet I can’t seem to get there often enough.
I caught part of the film Garden State on TV this week and I was instantly reminded of the scene where they are standing in the rain at the edge of the infinite abyss and they all yell and empty themselves into the abyss. What a powerful image of letting go!
There is a big difference between knowing something and being able to live or practice something. Paul says it best when he writes, “What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise” (Romans 7:15). Being anxious is a waste of time. I know this. Trying to spin my thought to think positive is something I’ve been working on (but not working as hard as I could/should).
This week I bumped into a poem by Susan W.N. Ruach. Ruach was the first woman to ordained into the United Methodist Church in 1975. I’m sure she had anxieties and worries and spent time brooding and dwelling on things she had no control over. Why am I so certain? Because of her poem.
“A New Way of Struggling”
To struggle used to be
To grab with both hands
and shove and not give in
But wrest an answer from it all
As Jacob did a blessing.
But there is another way
To struggle with an issue, a question–
Simply to jump
into the abyss
and find ourselves
slowly and gently
to the answers God has for us–
to watch the answers unfold
before our eyes and still
to be a part of the unfolding.
But, oh! the trust
necessary for this new way!
Not to be always reaching out
For the old hand-holds.
(A Guide to Prayer. Job, Rueben P. and Shawchuck, Norman. Pg.331-332.)
(Apologizes that I cannot get the format to stick in the blog…try to find the original in print!)
Simply jump off and trust.
“This is my message to you . . . don’t worry about a thing!” (Bob Marley)
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God.” (John 14:1)