There is a basic principle in Buddhism, letting go. The truth is that when looking at world religions and who God is calling me to be this Buddhist principle greatly affects my following of Christ. The basic concept that Buddha taught is that “Nirvana”, a profound peace of mind free of suffering, is reached by letting go. Suffering to Buddha was the feeling we experienced when all those things that we wished for, wanted or desired that didn’t come to pass. With that in mind Letting go becomes a very profound thing and a very tough thing. We let go of our dreams, our desires, our hopes, our fears and so much more. The key here is that some of the things we are letting go of are good things, the hopes for my son, let go, the fear of bad things happening to my family, let go, and of course the list goes on. The point of all this is that I think those of us who follow Christ need to let go too. We all have our plans we all have an idea of where we’d like to be and who we’d like to be there with but so often we fall short of those aims. Somewhere between our dreaming of dreams and them becoming a reality life happens. Life enters the picture, messes up the place and moves on to the next dream. I’ve found that whenever I get to tied to an ideal situation I end up fighting to keep that picture intact, sometimes I win and sometimes I lose but either way I look back and wonder if it was worth it or if I was just fighting the tide, struggling against an inevitability. It’s in those moments that I realize that I just should have let go that I should have let life happen that I should have simply let it be. I’m not talking about those things that should be fought, the curable diseases, justice issues and those sorts of things. I’m talking about those times when I looked at a situation and wondered what could have been if I just accepted life on life’s terms. Those moments where I’ve seen that if I had just made the most of the reality I was handed that I would have found myself in a much better situation. That I would have experienced more peace. Life is change, change is grief, grief is painful. I have found that when I let go of that fear of change and I embrace the ebb and flow of life that I have experienced peace. This video speaks to what I am talking about
Romans 7:1-6 (NRSV)
Do you not know, brothers and sisters — for I am speaking to those who know the law — that the law is binding on a person only during that person’s lifetime? Thus a married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law concerning the husband. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man, she is not an adulteress.
In the same way, my friends, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.
We are dead to what held us captive! We are dead to that Law! The world that we know is temporary, fleeting, fading some day it will all be gone. Some day there will come a time when everyone who knew me will be gone, some day my name will be spoken for the last time some day there will be nothing. If we invest in creating in a temporary world we’ve expended a lot of energy and at some point it will be gone.
That can sound awful depressing or hopeless but Jesus saw it as filled with hope. That temporary nature meant we were free to live as best we can. To make the most out of each day, to not get bogged down in dreams that won’t come true but rather to make the most out of what was. Jesus then spent a lot of time sharing his picture of what that free life looked like. Life lived for others, with others. Life with God, life in all its fullest! And of course we were free to do this because God, permanent God, Perfect God is what we can rely on, God is where we find stability, God is where we are free from change, loss and grief. God is why we can let go, let go of what we cling to, let go of where we think we will find peace. In God we can let Go, in God we find peace of mind in God we cas see Nirvana.
God, help me let go. AMEN