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“Surrender.” “Let It Go.” “Give it to Jesus.”
Yes, I’ve heard all these phrases before.
I’ve heard them as rash comments from flippant people.
I’ve heard them from from wise elders who carefully advise.
I wonder, “Is letting go (of ingrained patterns, negative thoughts, anxiety) as simple as dropping your old junk off at the local consignment shop?”
I wish.
But, it isn’t that easy for me. Maybe, not for you either.
The truth is, I really don’t know how to “let it go”.
To be free from that which weighs me down.
I don’t know how to surrender my worry, my fears, other people to God.
I don’t know how to detach from the control I hang so tightly to.
I don’t know how NOT to rule with my mood.

But, I’m a fighter.
And, I practice.
I practice writing on sticks and throwing them in a jar.
I practice memorizing the Jesus prayer and repeating it, “Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
I practice writing in a journal and end with written prayer.
I practice deep breaths.
I practice meditating and when my mind wanders, I come back to my centering thought, “Yahweh.”

I don’t practice pretty with rhythm and grace.
Rather, it’s more like me falling over myself,
yelling at my kids to have quiet time.
The irony is laughable.
I don’t practice the same time every day.
Or the same way.
Some days, I downright forget.

Though, I always come back.
I return to the practice.
Because, it’s the practice, that slow, like molasses, changes.
It’s the practice, that, for a flicker of time, allows me to be in the moment.
In the here and now.
It’s the practice, that, stretched over years, offers the gift of peace and serenity.

So, today,
don’t lose heart.
Keep practicing.
Maybe if word spreads about practicing prayer and deep breaths,
more peace, and less shootings, will be the way.


Prayer:

Jesus,
Help us to be your peace in the world. Help us to sow love with our words and our actions. Help us to put the weapons away and learn how to connect eye to eye. Help us to see one another as your children. Help us to have dialogue, not protests. Help us to have compassion for one another, knowing we are all connected as human family. Help us practice so that we may receive your gift of being a non-anxious presence in the world. Help us to trust. Amen.