Spiritual Practices: Easter 2020
Scripture ~ Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
Breath Prayer ~ Inhale -letting go, Exhale – again
Introduction ~ Lament and let go. Last week we visited lament as a way that allows us to give voice to our sorrow. This week we see how lament lays a foundation for us to let go. To lament and then let go is a confession that we don’t know much for certain and need to trust God. Our ego-driven certainty breaks down in lament and when we practice letting go of that certainty, we are freed to enter into the flow of God’s love. We are surrounded by God’s presence. When being certain about something is ego-driven, it can distract us from the new thing God is doing. It takes us out of the flow and the joy of trusting God. This isn’t a passive construct, i.e. “it’s in God’s hands, there is nothing I can do,” but is an active construct trusting God to draw us into the flow of what God is already doing.
“Let go” is a cue often heard in yoga classes as a suggestion on how to be totally present in the practice. We are encouraged to let go of our ego-driven ideas so we can safely enter into the physical practice. We are encouraged to let go of our to-do list so we can be mentally present, truly in the moment and less distracted. We are often encouraged to let go using our breath, especially on the exhale.
Clearly, letting go is a practice! We do not find one recipe for letting go and think we have mastered it but rather use a combination of different strategies to practice letting go. One of the most popular ways is to surround ourselves in nature. The expansive experience of nature encourages us to trust God and enter the flow of God’s presence.
Our poem today is a famous poem by Wendell Berry that reflects the sense of letting go and experiencing the freedom of entering into God’s flow through nature.
Poem “The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry
(Listen to Wendell Berry read the poem here: https://onbeing.org/poetry/the-peace-of-wild-things/)
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.