Let me listen again. You are asking me to let go of the idea that I can somehow master complete control over my life. You invite me to trust you more and let you help me with my struggles. Every time I am willing to admit that I don’t have to do it alone, I move closer to embracing the limitations that bring me closer to you. Every time I accept the humility of my own imperfections, am I not gaining myself, instead of the world that rejects you?
As I’ve traveled with you this week, Jesus, the first full week of Lent and one in a string of difficult weeks that I’ve had lately, these words have hit home.
Embracing my cross, following your example, sounds so nice, so ideal, so boring…until I attempt it…and fail.
I have to let go, don’t I? I’m not the one in control. Though I understand it at an intellectual level (or tell myself I do), I am only just beginning to grasp it as a reality, as something that is more than just a nice concept, as a way of life.
This exercise in trusting you, Jesus, is far from boring. In fact, it has me well outside my comfort zone.
I thought I had this all figured out. Come to find out that, ahem, I don’t. Not at all.
So thanks, Jesus, for patiently waiting for me. Thanks for explaining it all again…and again…and again. Thanks for those kind souls who have picked me up this week (and last week, and the week before that), for the friends who have hugged me, for the people who have prayed for me.
I am at a crossroads in my life, dear friend, Jesus. I can’t continue my life the way it has been and that frightens me. I know I want to change, but I struggle with this alone, until I remember that you will be with me in this. It means giving up control and trusting you. It means accepting that you are my Lord, and giving up the gods of perfection and success I have followed for so long.
You’re never farther away than my elbow, are you? You’re never so far in front of me that I have to run to catch up, or so far behind that I have to slam on the brakes. You’re walking with me, beside me, hand-in-hand. You’ve been here before, though, and you know the way. You know what Abba Father has planned. You know his will.
Show me, Jesus. Show me.
Help me to mean it when I pray “Thy will, not my will.”
Image credit and some background: I had to do some research to find out who did this drawing. It turns out that Jean Keaton gets the credit. You can see the entire collection of pencil drawings here (it’s also worth a click to her website). I saw these years ago in a forwarded email. I saved them to my hard drive and was delighted when, last year, we found them at our local Catholic bookstore. We bought a print for Toddlerina’s godfather, who’s also our parish priest, and then Prince Charming brought tears to my eyes last Christmas by having it unexpectedly show up, wrapped, in our house. It hangs in our playroom, and is my constant reminder of my priorities…and God’s priorities.