Monday, November 11, 2013

Relax, Let Go, Trust (Luke 12:22-31)

     Then (Jesus) said to the disciples, "That's why I tell you, don't worry about your life and what you are to eat. Don't worry about your body and what you are to wear. For life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Take a lesson from the ravens. They don't sow or reap. They have neither a food cellar nor a barn, yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable are you than birds? Can any one of you, for all your worrying add a single hour to your life? If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why worry about the rest?
     "Notice the flowers grow. They neither labor nor weave, yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was robed like one of these! If that is how God clothes the grass in the field - which is here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow - how much more will God look after you! You have so little faith!
     "As for you, don't set your hearts on what you'll eat or what you'll drink. Stop worrying! All the nations of the world seek these things, yet your Abba God well knows what you need. Set your sights on the kin-dom of God, and all these other things will be given to you as well."

I start with a confession - I have always wrestled with these words: don't be anxious, don't seek to control, trust. This advice is hard enough in general, yet from a queer perspective they seem to have even more weight. There are a thousand things to fret about. For those just discerning their orientation the whole issue of managing the closet, of who knows, who doesn't know, when do we want someone to know, and each and every individual with which a potentially difficult conversation needs to take place with the risk of rejection. For those yearning and fighting for marriage equality and the constant and seemingly unending battle for respect and legal justice. For those who've mourned quietly over a break up, or even the death of a lover - not understood, or simply ignored by others. 

Into this mix of emotions and feelings comes this bit of odd wisdom: relax, let go, trust.  For none of your worrying, none of your obsessing, none of your controlling and grabbing tight can add an hour to your life. But if I'm not the one raising my blood pressure over these things then who will? 

Relax. Let go. Trust. These words fly in the face of the usual advice we receive: work harder, fight stronger, march longer. 

Relax. Let go. Trust. Reminds us that there is a buoyancy to life which AlicePopkorn captures in her image. You may call it God, or you may call it life, or you may call it the eternal force for justice, mercy, and love. Regardless of what you name it, it is there holding you as a child in the palm of the hand. Notice the joy and happiness signaled by the smile of the female figure. The hand solid yet transparent as if the buoyancy can be consciously known or totally ignored, yet remains to bear us up.

Relax. Let go. Trust. Moves us from straining to carry the world of our lives on our solders, and like Atlas, forever being pinned down by its weight. Relax. Let go. Trust. Moves us to enjoying this thing we call life, and for us this thing we call the queer life. Relax. Let go. Trust. Reminds us that our duty is not to be uptight as we fevorisly seek to control "things beyond your control," but rather to seek our inner alignment with this cosmic hand that bears us up. Or, as Jesus put it, seeking after the kin-dom of God.  

Relax. Let go. Trust. Allows us to place our values first and our fears second. What does life look like when we are chasing after what we want instead of running from what we don't want? How different would we be with others if we were to take care of our inner life before we take care of what others think of us? What pain would be releashed from our lives if we trusted instead of worried? 

Relax. Let go. Trust. That's the wisdom. May we all find peace in it.



  1. Thanks for the reflection David. Needed words for anxious times.

  2. Thanks Jeff - blessings on you and Ashley in the transitions you are making. Godspeed, my good friend.