The Limbo Of Letting Go
Society tells us that we must leap over the worldly hurdles of life, vaulting our way to success, but I have found the opposite to be true. God has seen to it that I have learned more by going lower than I ever have by going higher. The ego is hell-bent on leaping higher, but what does the ego know?
Of course the word limbo also means being in a state of uncertainty, which is where faith is born. One needs no faith in the sun when it is out; only in the darkness do we need faith in the light. Letting go of certainty is a wisdom we are loathe to practice.
If I told you that losing a child to cancer brought me so low that I found God, you would have no trouble believing me. If I told you that it made me no happier, would you believe that, too? God is not about making you happy. He is about making you whole. That He would do whatever it takes for this to happen is the cosmic joke.
Wholeness ultimately is the happiest place to be, but we struggle with this for years and years. At least I did. You see, wholeness means that you must reconcile your abject cowardice with your most magnificent courage. You must balance your weak points with your God-given talents, limboing under the broom of the opposites.
When I see someone doing the limbo in my mind�s eye, there is usally a crowd of onlookers clapping and cheering as you see �how low you can go.� Does this not parallel humility in the face of our daily challenges. Water seeks the lowest spot and we are the ocean.
Cancer has been a dominant theme in my life. Not mine, but my daughter�s, who got it at the age of three...and now my husband�s. I have seen God holding out the broom and telling me to go lower on many different occasions. There was no clapping crowd....just me and an old broom of crisis. Can you go under chemo, surgery and radiation. How about death, grief and living in the absence of a beloved child. Go lower. Let go. Limbo lower now.
Letting go is easy when you realize that God is holding the broom. When you see that the God within is up to the challenge that letting go requires. For limbo is not forever, although it may seem that way.
I think that letting go requires only one thing--wholeness. And I am going to tell you how to get there immediately. Choose it. Choose heart over head, humility over height, and you will be healed by a higher power than the mind.
Hannah Hurnard wrote a spiritual classic called Hinds� Feet On High Places. It is about the journey of a character called Much Afraid. She sets out on the journey to the high places, called by The Good Shepherd. Only He doesn�t seem so good to her when He asks that she learn to give love instead of seek it from others. He seems willing to sacrifice her very life for Him. But she begins her journey. He tells her to hold the hands of Sorrow and Suffering, two mysterious women who will help her on the journey.
When Little Much Afraid gets to the High Places, she has been promised a new name and that spurs her on. Ultimately, after many challenges she reaches them, only to find that she must cast herself down from the very heights that she has taken such trouble to ascend. She must limbo lower now, as the musical phrase commands.
Of course, she finds that in going lower, she fulfills the purpose of her life--to serve instead of seek the high places. It is a journey of paradox and purpose. It is our journey. When will we go lower by own own choice and not have it forced from us?
I am not talking about humiliation; I am talking about humility. Isn�t letting go a form of humility? And yes, we will be forced to do what we do not choose consciously. That is how the game of life is played.
Maurice Nicoll, author of The Commentaries On The Teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, was a great believer in willingness. He said if you go to something willingly, you win. Choose to go lower instead of higher. The mysterious limbo broom can heal you of unseen arrogance and many other negativities.
Often God only talks to us when He gets us so low that we are willing to listen. Cancer often brings us to this point, as do many other life-threatening situations. Will we have the faith to live in limbo, letting go and going lower? Because God never breaks a promise to His children. �Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.� Job 13:15.
Victory is assured when we choose humility over the ego�s height. You can�t think your way into wholeness; you will be broken in the attempt. Schizophrenic thinking was never meant to heal a broken heart.
These days my heart is being challenged by cancer for the second time in my life. I am honoring the old broom of limbo. Will the battle against cancer be won or lost? That is a wrong question and I am going to suggest a right one. Will the limbo take me lower than I want to go? Of course, it always does, but I know Who is holding the broom.
� 2004 Vicki Woodyard