“When you think about it, I was holding something together that was time to let go.”
So began some spontaneous writing in the middle of one of many nights when I’ve sat up awake, considering the unfolding of some difficult times.
“It’s hard for me to admit that I’m better off letting it go completely. It almost feels like admitting I’m a complete and utter failure; that everything I did was in vain, that there’s nothing left for me. If I could get something so wrong, how can I trust my choices in the future?”
Losing something is different to letting it go, especially when you are hyper-vigilant and hyper-responsible. I’m more aware of how much loss people experience in life and wonder how some survive. Of course some don’t. Though we lose people, relationships, moments, ideals, opportunities, seasons that we love, often we’ve invested so much of ourselves we hold on tight to something that is gone and our minds keep tricking us that somehow it is still within our grasp.
“But I’ve wasted enough time with regret. Time is passing me by; if I’m a disciple then I will say, enough. Get moving. Find the chance to sow again. To give again. To believe again. And even to build again.”
Intellectually we know we cannot live well in regret and yet it is a persistent posture that we must fight hard to overcome.
“I’ve hit the wall here – the conundrum, the knot in my head and my heart – and I can’t think straight…”
As the night unfolded and my writing continued to spill out I had to recognise I didn’t know the way home. That was of some relief.
“That’s what it is. A tangle, a knotted ball so messed up that I sit here trying to get it into order and it defies me and so I leave it and keep coming back to it. I know I should probably just say, well, there’s nothing you can do with that. Put it in the bin and get some new string.
“But if you know me you know I don’t take that kind of defeat easy. I’d rather say, no, I’ll get it, just give me some time… But people and relationships and feelings and words and time and memories and beliefs and imaginations aren’t string.”
I have often sat with tangled string or a broken appliance or a computer that just won’t do the right thing and found it very hard to stop trying to fix it. It’s a thin line between perseverance and outright obsession.
“Breath the new air, Peter. Stop looking over your shoulder. Stop trying to fix it – who are you, God? God didn’t stop it so he must know it will lead somewhere good so trust Him. It’s not about you. Peter, you idiot. It’s not about you.”
Mmm, that’s telling me… It’s about 2.30am… not time for mincing words.
And then, out of no where, a sense of resurrection gripped me, this dark night. Looking back at the words I wrote I can hardly recognise them as mine or do they indeed belong to another, greater…
“But me, I’m up, I’m away. I leave that dead thing and laugh at the thought that the remains I leave are even incorporated as strength and I have the last laugh. They may not know it, killing at me as they were, but some of my life got into them and so I’m there regardless, but gone and free as well.
“Look at me striding now, casting off the trailings and feeling strength return, filling my lungs with new air. Resurrecting, ah ha. When you are in resurrection you don’t need retribution, restoration, reconciliation, remembering. You are of new order, those things seem of another land. There’s a greatness in you that only the dead and lying in the tomb understand when they are standing in the garden among angels and bright lights. You stop for a moment, there’s someone you knew. But they don’t know you any more because you are not who you were. You can find them, but they can’t find you. And you might pause to find a few, because it’s from Him to do but it will not slow your upward journey, heaving heavenward in joyful victory and they will be what they will be but you are in a new day and can’t wait long.”
And I went to bed; an inner sense of resurrection accompanied me, singing in my spirit, and I wondered what I’d touched, as the sun rose…