The boy, the toy train, and letting go.

This week, the lessons that I have been encountering have everything to do with learning to let go. Even when I think I am letting go of that which is not in my own control, I am still gripping on so tightly, my hands ache. So, I had the lessons tenfold this week. Let me start with a story that a friend shared with me.

A boy was playing with his toy train, and it broke. The boy held it up in the air, asking God, “God, will you fix my train?” Nothing. The boy asked God over and over again, “God, will you fix my train?” Nothing.

The boy grew up, became a man, got married, raised a family, and grew old. One day, the man died, and went to Heaven. When he arrived there, he asked God, “God, what gives? Why didn’t you fix my train when I was boy as I asked of you?” And, God said lovingly to the man, “I would have been more than happy to have fixed your train, if you had just let go of it.”


As I understand more deeply my unwillingness to let go, when I need to, which is often in every moment, I also understand my own reluctance and resistance to faith. In my refusal to let go, I am not letting my Higher Power guide, help, and support me. I am suffering in my own arrogance that somehow, some way, I can influence the conclusion.

My own experience with this in this past week goes something like this. I had to have a medical procedure performed, and it required that I receive anesthesia. I was scared, because I was there without a partner or family member, and because I was having a procedure that always has some level of risk. As the anesthesiologist administered a thick, white drug into my IV, and I watched it pass through the tube, I thought, “I can control this; I can control the effects of this drug and when it will hit me.” No, seriously, this is what I told myself. Talk about nonsense and arrogance! Obviously, I had no control at all over how and when it would hit; the next thing I knew, the doctor was talking to me, reassuring that all was well, and it was completed.

In that brief encounter, in that human experience of being scared and holding on tighter, and then, with this beautiful story of a boy, his train and God, I understood more deeply than ever why letting go is essential for me to live my life fully. If I continue to believe that by holding on to all that occurs in this world, that I can somehow effect the outcome, and somehow have peace, I will be sorely disappointed.

So, in this moment, I am full of intention to let go, be present, and let my Higher Power do what it is here to do; to take care of me. I am learning!


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