Were you afraid? Maybe a little worried?
Do you remember Y2K? I do. I remember people stock piling goods – not to mention doing other “end of the world preparation” type stuff. Was I one of those people? No. It’s not like I didn’t BELIEVE everything was going to crash. I just didn’t really know how to prepare – and, honestly, I wasn’t really convinced. But I was a little scared.
Why am I talking about this now? Well, for the past few weeks, every once in a while when I got out of my car there was a penny laying on the ground. Right next to the driver’s side door. I usually just leave them. But the frequency had my interest peaked. So this morning, when I got out of my car, there was a penny – again! I picked it up and sat back down pondering the meaning, if any. I wondered, “What year is it?” After a frantic search for my glasses, I thought it said 1999. Then it hit me.
This penny thing is about the unknown, fear, powerlessness and faith. Which is ultimately about letting go.
The unknown. The scariest movies aren’t the ones with the most blood, they are the ones where you know you don’t know what is going to happen next, right?!
1999. No one really knew what was going to happen. The big thing about the unknown is that it messes with our illusion of control. Come on, don’t shut down here. You know you don’t REALLY have control over much of anything right? Maybe your own thoughts and actions…. that’s about it. Sure, you can influence… stop a ball from rolling – if you can catch it, if you don’t trip, or someone doesn’t get in your way… You can influence a decision, but we have ALL seen our attempts at influence (ahem, control) backfire. Am I alone here? Can I get an amen?
One of the most defining tennets of my faith is recognition of my powerlessness. Oh! aAd embracing it. As much as I like to help, guide, and be available to the people around me… I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am not in control, I do not own, nor can I at times even influence the people I love.
It’s scary. I fear the unknown. Will my friend’s decisions lead them away from me? Can they make it, do they want to? If they break, can they recover? It feels like there is a lot of personal ‘risk’ of losing (what is dear to me) for me. But that is the illusion. I never really could count on, know or control the outcome of what people will think or do next. So what if I thought differently from the onset?
What if I realized that faith is tightly holding on to the powerlessness in my life. That is truth. And what happens when I accomplish this? The people in my life get to grow, get to become who they will.
With these pennies and especially this 1999 penny, I feel like God is saying, “Remain powerless, live in the unknown and have faith, in Me and my relationship with those you love.”
To live well with Christ is to let go, of everything, often… focus on my own life, choices, acts of love and, of course, to have faith.