letting go…

So many different ingredients go into shaping our identity. Our place of origin, our class, life situation, our parents’ economic level, our peers, even our youngest memories, actions, and decisions, all blend into the mix that is us. In time they accumulate into a collective whole. For some, the God of the universe molds our clay to become a useful vessel in His hands. Yes, we do have a choice in the matter. But should we: and to what extent is it viable?

Good times become memories; friends form a part of our social fabric, another definer of our lives. Tragedies become memories too; that first girlfriend leaving you, the betrayal of a friend, the early loss of a parent. Being hit with the reality that we are not superman, not invincible, not the greatest & best at everything, not the center of the universe also goes into our collective psyche, further refining who we truly are, and not some projection of our imagination.

We hang onto these definers, both positive & negative, as a point of reference upon which we decide our future behavior, make our future decision, and define the “groove” of our lives. We settle in, based on how we arrived at this place in our journey. Ergo, we feel safe. Finally. Mostly. Sorta.

To be sure, there are some areas in our life which are best let go, we tend to hang onto those. Why? Because they provide a point of reference, a sense of safety, a history, memories. Healthy people move past the painful experiences, letting them go. They make their peace with the past. Others, not so much. Too many of us either live in the past where personal safety and happiness were part ‘n parcel to life. For them, moving forward, growing beyond, is too much of a risk.

Why do we seek to dwell in our memories and past experiences, even the great ones, when there is so much to discover around the corner, in a future full of possibilities? The good ol’ days just weren’t. We need to let go—of the hurt, the pain, and the what-could-have-been.

Letting go of anything is not often a simple matter.  But living in the past both robs us of great joy and elation in the present, and deprives us of our dreams for the future.

Let it go.

Have a nice week,


“Meallan muilte dé go mall ach meallan siad go mion.”

emPulse: Def. 1) something done on the spur of the moment, an impulse, like buying another pair of shoes or a BMW, or getting married in Vegas. 2) or, an EM-pulse, an electro-magnetic pulse, that shuts down everything and forces us to STOP what we’re doing and think about what’s going on.

EmPulse for Week of March 15, 2010

“Meallan muilte dé go mall ach meallan siad go mion.”

“Meallan muilte dé go mall ach meallan siad go mion,” meaning, “God’s mill may grind slowly, but it grinds finely.” ‘Tis an old Irish proverb to be heeded with some respect. For we all live out our lives with the hand of God upon us, want it or not. Some of us are aware, some of us are not. Some of us ignore His voice; some listen more attentively. Yet without exemption, we all lie in the hands of a Creator God who molds us, or grinds us, to be useful both in His Kingdom and in this world.

To be molded implies a sort of compliance on the our part, like malleable clay on a potters-wheel. The potter gently molds the clay with his hands until it is shaped to be useful to its purpose. The grinding-wheel works quite differently. The imagery in the Irish proverb is one of being slowly and steadily worn-down, until all the chaff of one’s life has been ground away and only a nutritious grain remains to be used. Both wheels do their job; in the end, both produce a useful product. So why is it that God must use the grinding-wheel on so many of us rather than a potter’s-wheel?

It is because we have grown thick-skinned, impervious to penetration by pain, hurtful words, judgment, and sometimes even love. We have fallen prey to that postmodern predilection best characterized as skeptical suspicion. We just don’t trust anyone. Trust in friends, family, employers, the “system,” government, or God…, doesn’t matter. Because of past experiences any inclination to truly trust, anyone or anything, is GONE. And thus the grinding-wheel of God must slowly smooth away our hardness, our jagged, frayed bitterness, our pockets of empty emotion and steeled-wills of isolation.

Sadly, only as we are worn down by God can we begin to feel the healing waters of His Spirit as they cleanse us from the pain, and soften us to become the potter’s-clay. It is only then that He can shape and mold us to become a thing of beauty.

A final thought—  The grain does not choose to be thrown under the grinding-wheel to be ground bare of its chaff. But it only becomes a nutritious, life-sustaining grain if it goes through such a grinding process. Also, the Potter’s clay does not tell the Potter how it wants to be molded, shaped; the Potter has full control over the kind of vessel into which the clay will be shaped. The Potter also has final say as to the way the pot, vase, cup, or bowl will be used.

Advice—  If you sense God shaping you for some purpose, grand or small, do not fight Him. Allow Him to mold you to fit the purpose He has designed for your life…, or you will most assuredly fall under his unyielding grinding-wheel. Remember St Patrick? Learn from his incredible life.

Have a nice week.