Just Let It Go

When I was in the Peace Corps, I had a lot of time on my hands. I’m not proud of some of the things I did with that time, but one good thing I managed to do was read a Bible all the way through, underlining everything that resonated with me in any way. Then, I took my journal and wrote out about 600 of the most striking verses and stories. I had funny stories about circumcisions and witches, simple bits of wisdom you could live your life by, people being unwittingly impaled, inspiring verses that held obvious sermon seeds, sexually explicit lyrics, all the good stuff. Everything anyone ever talks about when they talk about the Bible, I had it in my 20-page handwritten reference.

I used that reference I made for years. I used to call it “The Light,” a play on its brevity and its enlightening power. When I didn’t know what to preach about, 5 minutes in The Light, and I was back on track. Someone wanted to know where in the Bible the men tried to gang rape two angels, I’d check The Light and tell them it was Genesis 19.

For the past eight years, I relied on The Light. I put a lot of work in to compile it, and it served me well. Sure enough, when I moved from New York to Los Angeles to finally become a full time pastor, I lost that journal among other things on the move. I have combed every bag and box we brought, which wasn’t all that much anyway, and it’s not here.

At first, I felt real despair, but I’m learning that despair and self-doubt don’t do me any good. I still have the same job description and the same preaching and teaching responsibilities Light or no Light. I just let it go.

I figure that God must not want me to be relying on it too much. Even though that frankly doesn’t make sense to me, I know that if my old notes were absolutely essential to my new job, I would still have them. So I just let them go. They’re gone anyway, so holding on to the memory and how easy things were in the good old days will only make me miserable. And since being miserable makes me miserable, I just let it go.

Just let it go.

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3 responses to “Just Let It Go

  1. “holding on to the memory and how easy things were in the good old days will only make me miserable”
    Some people all they have is memories, it’s sad to hear that your memoirs makes you miserable. For some having or cherishing certain memory provides them with the confort of knowing there are better things to come in life…I am sorry to hear that you have lost “your light” but it seems that you kept the memories of its values dear…Sorry for your loss.

  2. Don’t get me wrong. I have a ton of great memories that I can look to nostagically. If a memory truly is sweet, we need to hang on to it. That’s why they’re there. But if it gives you a feeling of regret, or you get angry everytime you think about it, “just let it go.” I’m not saying let go of the memory, I’m saying let go of the actual notebook. “Don’t cry over spilled milk,” as they say.

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