It’s amazing how quickly it can all go off the rails.
It is Day 2 of the new year, and you would think things would still be going strong on the second day. All the great plans, the serious goals, the new habits that will form the year ahead…
It’s true that I haven’t really warmed up to the new year yet. I was planning to have a lovely weekend getting things done around the house and clearing off my desk. Class starts on Monday, and I was hoping for a date night out with my wife that night. I would settle in to my new routines on Tuesday. I always like starting new things on Tuesday.
Then the phone call: My wife’s father has been taken by ambulance to another city, four hours away, where he is awaiting a consult for open heart surgery.
It’ll all settle in soon. When it’s quiet, we will talk, and worry, and pray. But for now it is route plans, hotel bookings, packing, cleaning. We are probably doing things because it is easier to do things than to just be, to just wait. But we legitimately have to get on the road tomorrow morning, as the sun rises, before the snow sets in.
And that’s the weekend. No finishing projects or setting out paths for the new year. No family dinners around the table. Instead we’ll be grabbing food on the road, spending long hours wandering hospital halls and haunting 7/11s when the need is dire. Rather than playing board games and reading books by the fire, we’ll be doing Sudoku and flipping through magazines until the doctor finally comes.
And then there’s the worry. Have I mentioned the worry?
The poignant part of it all is that as I worry about plans, and hopes, and organization, and as I worry about it all “going off the rails,” my father-in-law is strapped down in a hospital bed wondering if his heart will explode.
In moments like these, it’s good to remember that it’s not about me. It just isn’t.
It isn’t in my control. I wish I could say that it was a super spiritual thing to admit: “let it go,” the spiritual say. It’s not, really, though. I’m not in control of any of this anyway.
It’s not about me.
So while there are 32 things to worry about, the only task before me is the one of letting it go. Can I die to this anxiety? Can I surrender this need to control the universe? Can I trust that there is an Authority greater than my own?
I can when there is a class to teach or a lesson to prepare. Can I do it when all there is is silence and waiting?