Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Letting Go

I guess I should preface this post with the statement: I will be blogging a lot about what I learn from Anne Lamott's new book because she is amazing. Now on with the show...

In the chapter Wailing Wall she talks about the importance of letting go. She used the examples set by people who go to the Wailing Wall. Which, if you don't know anything about it, is pretty inspiring.

Basically people write down their prayers/worries/ etc on sheets of paper and push them into the cracks of the Wailing Wall. Why this wall? Because it is the only structure remaining from the temple built by Solomon. It was destroyed 400 years later by King Nebuchadnezzar's men. This was where Jews flocked to worship. It was supposed to help them stay focused on God and turn their attention away from the distractions outside. It was a place where God could hear the cries and prayers and joys of His people. It still represents that belief today.

Anne suggests that we do that too. We don't have to travel to Jerusalem where the Wall still stands. We can do it right where we are. We can shove bits of paper with prayers and names on them into glove boxes, purses/man bags, desk drawers, little boxes wherever. She says that,"when you give up on using your mind to solve a problem- which your mind is holding onto like a dog with a chew toy- writing it down helps turn off the terrible alertness. When you're not siphoned into the black hole of worried control and playing fretful savior, turning the problem over to God or the elves in your glove compartment harnesses something in the universe that is bigger than you, and that just might work."

Sometimes if you're lucky, you get to a point where you are sick of a problem, or worn down by tinkering with it, or clutching it. And letting it go, maybe writing it down and sending it away, buys you some time and space, so maybe freedom and humor can sneak in-which is probably what you were praying for all along.

4 comments:

April said...

Thanks for the tidbits from this book. I can't wait to get the book and read it. Until I do, I am excited to know a little of what I'm missing.

Bonnie said...

Wonderful ! I'll have to look for the book. God did say bring all your troubles....... Some people feel praying can only be in a church. Not true.

Love your blog.

MOM said...

We used to throw notes into the ocean or off a cliff for the same reason - you write it down and give it away. It's not yours to worry over any more. Thanks for the reminder to do that more. I have a few I'm going to go write down and put in the big hands of my Lord right now.

Kristine dB said...

I did this for awhile and it really is amazing what writing something down and stuffing it away or ripping/burning it up can do for the heart and mind. I think I need to get back in the habit of this. Thanks!

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