Day 30: React to this term: Letting Go
My pastor, Reverend David Fleming, of Margate Community Church in Margate, NJ shared this story in his sermon on Sunday. An excerpt of Pastor Dave’s sermon follows the story.
An ancient Greek legend tells of a woman who has come down to the River Styx to be ferried across to the region of departed spirits. The kindly ferryman reminds her that it is her privilege to drink of the river water and thus forget the life she is leaving behind. Eagerly she asks, “Will I forget how I have suffered?”
“Yes,” replies the ferry man, “but you will also forget how you rejoiced.”
“Will I forget all my failures?”
“Yes, but also all of your victories.”
“Will I forget how I have hated?”
“Yes, but also how you have been loved.”
After thinking it over, the woman chose not to drink from the river, preferring to keep all of her memories of sorrow and joy, disappointments and love, successes and failures.
We all have memories of good times and bad times, as well as memories of loved ones and friends whose lives exhibited extraordinary love and sacrifice and commitment to us, to family members, and others.
We can choose, like Paul (in 1 Corinthians 13) to let those memories change us for the better. We can love better, care better, share better, and let go of those negative things that block this love and spirit. Memories have power to change us because God often speaks to us through them.
The faith, hope, and love that Paul spoke of applies to all of life and its mixture of joy and sadness, disappointments and love, successes and failures. God amazingly and lovingly finds a way to be there with us through it all. One of these days, we may find a way to stop trying to define how we expect God to respond, and we will remember all those surprisingly wonderful moments when faith, hope, and love unexpectedly came our way – and God was in the midst of those times.