Letting Go

I subscribe to the Society of John the Evangelist’s daily email called, “Brother Give Us a Word.”  I’ve found great insight and wisdom in these short, and often on-target reflections about our faith.  Every once-in-a-while, the reflection absolutely hits home–God being, well, God, sees to that.


Today’s reflection from Br. Mark Brown is one of those times when the message sent was exactly the message that needed to be received.  Br. Mark writes:

“If we’re not paying attention, we can find we’ve accumulated a vast treasury, truck loads of fears and anxieties, trunk loads of resentments and grudges, crates of unrealistic expectations and boxes of presumptions and unreasonable demands. Remember to leave all this baggage behind, to travel lightly on the way. Remember to travel forgetfully and follow Jesus.”


When you pack up and move from one house to the other, there is always the process of going through all of one’s possessions:  old clothes that haven’t been worn recently, boxes of “stuff” in the attic, garage or basement, that may not have been opened in years.  The same can be said about fears, anxieties, presumptions, our guilt, shame, anger and unreasonable demands–they accumulate in our life.  Sometimes those “boxes” aren’t opened up for years and years, yet we carry them around all the same.  They sit on our soul and weigh us down.   Following Jesus requires us to travel light; and at times even shaking the dust from our feet as we work to confront and then leave behind and let go of our fears, anxieties, guilt, shame and all the rest.


What additional “boxes” are you carrying with you?  How do you think you might lighten your load?   Imagine how much more freely do you think you might be able to feel and live if you weren’t carrying around those extra “boxes?”


In Christ,



About matthewhanisian

Associate Rector at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.
This entry was posted in The Rev. Matthew R. Hanisian. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Letting Go

  1. dshillman@comcast.net says:

    Matthew– I am writing because I find it quite remarkable that this post arrives today in my email.  In the way of a revelation, just this very morning, I recognized my happiness would be a greater if I would just “forget” and “let things go.”  I am not making this up.  God does indeed work in mysterious ways.  Thank you for this post, because in the interim between my own thoughts this morning and reading your post, I have had to deal with a bit of an emergency back home, and God’s presence is just what I needed to pull me back up.

  2. My problem is anxiety;I try to think of Jesus as my father and Mary as my mother because my worldly father and mother are the kind of people who never put down the boxes of resentment and contempt. Coming away from home while still in the home requires a great deal of tactical skill. I am forced still to cook dinner or go grocery shopping for people I’ve left behind in another spiritual continent, but I notice that with love through Jesus and Mary for the strangers I meet who are poor, I come to a place that is less burdensome, lighter, more joyful.

  3. Sometimes it is not the psychotherapist, but love that counts. People who are TRULY loving and who do not fool with another person’s heart or mind are often more instrumental in handling hearts than doctors who are cold and professional.

  4. Call no man Father. You have one Father who is in Heaven. And indeed knows how to help you to let go better than any earthly man.

  5. Love is greater even than your SS number. But some people don’t have it for a person. They think that person unimportant.

  6. Christian says:

    Matthew — You obviously failed to get sufficient Calvinist training. We Calvinists live with boatloads full of guilt. How and where do you unload it all?

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