Life is dynamic and not static. Through the challenges we encounter, life pushes us to grow and become – become someone new every day. We are renewed each day as much as we bring renewal to others, too. This dynamism of life entails the recognition that at every turn in our life’s journey, something new is waiting for us to let it into our lives: new life, new ideas, new vision, new insight, hope, love, friendship, new way of being, doing and thinking. Name it. Being open to the new each time, gradually leads us to the fulfillment of our divine assignment in this world. But to let in the new also means we should let go of what stands in the way: unhealthy security and dependence, crave for status, stale and unfulfilling job, entrenched habits that diminish life, guilt and shame, bitterness that sours the heart, and even the wish that things remain as they were when change has occurred and the wish that things that happened didn’t happen! These have to be surrendered completely so that the new can emerge with new vitality. At some point too, life invites us to let go of all we have achieved in this world in order to let in the new life of heaven. That ultimate letting go happens at death. Life trains us to let go in small matters so that when the ultimate comes, we would not struggle so much to cling to what is not possible to cling to. The journey through life is a continuous practice of letting go and letting in the New. Without submitting to this dynamism at the heart of life, our sojourn in this world will be absolutely incomplete and lacking in meaning.
A grain of wheat, says Jesus, has to fall to the ground and die in order to bear fruit (Jn. 12:24). It cannot remain safe and secure as a seedling and wish to bear many fruits. It must submit itself to the real life process of letting go of itself in mini deaths in order to let in the new life already waiting to be born through the deaths. There is no short cut; there is no escape to this unless one surrenders one’s life to delusions and wishful living.
Jesus has to go through pain and suffering and death in order to complete his work of redemption. Even in his suffering and death he already sees the awaiting glory: “Now the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (Jn. 12:23). He has many opportunities to escape or compromise with the leaders, but then there would be no resurrection. He wouldn’t say at the end that “It is finished”! Faced with these possibilities of compromise and escape, Jesus knows and reminds himself and us: “anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life” (Jn.12:25). We cannot hold on to what is passing by or what has passed or what has expired; we have to die to those in order to give space for new life to spring up. We get stuck when we hold on to what should be let go, and we will never feel the caress of the new unless we completely let go! Jesus was willing to let go of his life in this world in order to enter into the new life of the resurrection, and invites all of us, his disciples to follow after him.
What are the things, events, emotional states, experiences, persons, that you need to let go in your life? Are you willing to even recognize what to let go and enter into the new life of freedom that God keeps waiting for you? So much to reflect on! But it is worth it; give it a try and you will not regret you did so. May His grace be upon you now and always. Amen