"Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go."*
I grew up in a small town across the street from a corn field. We would watch the corn grow to knee-high by the 4th of July. By October it was taller than me. Those tall stalks of corn were all you could see when you looked to the south. And then something amazing would happen. The harvest would come. The field would let go of the corn and yield an amazing result: an open field.
For the rest of the fall and the entire winter there was a broad open field before us. The sun seemed brighter. The air was more vast. It felt like you could see for miles. In the heart of the winter, that broad open space was there: the promise of possibility.
If we are honest with ourselves, there is probably something that we need to harvest in our lives. There may be something to let go. All the time and energy it takes to control something or worry about something or fear something crowds our hearts and our minds and limits our capacity to live fully and freely. It’s only when we let go that we realize the impact. New things can be realized after the field is cleared.
There is a parable that Jesus told about a farmer sowing seeds. Some fell on rocky soil. Some fell on thorny soil. Some fell on good soil. Upon first reading, you may want to figure out what kind of soil you may be. Are you rocky or thorny or good? But let’s remember something important. The soil cannot remove the rocks. The soil cannot remove the thorns. Only the farmer can do that. The soil is at the mercy of it’s caretaker.
When you are overcome by your need to control or by worry or by distraction or by the consequences of choices, your capacity to thrive is diminished. You find yourself in an overcrowded field. The way to be free is not by trying to fix things by your own efforts. It comes by letting go. You can give your need to control, your worries, and your troubles to the one who can truly take care of you. It can begin with a simple prayer, “Lord, I give everyone and everything to you.”
When you let go, you find yourself in a broad place where you can relax and imagine the goodness and wonder of what is right in front of you. You can also imagine what may be. It’s not that everything is suddenly ok. It’s not that the rocks and the thorns are gone but by releasing the power they have over you, you are free to move forward. The sun seems a little brighter. You find that you can catch your breath again. You are in a broad place that expands your hope.**
* author unknown
** Psalm 18:19, 31:8, 118:5; 2 Sam 22:20