My grandfather was not a church-goer. He was, however, a deeply spiritual man who would say “you don’t need to go to Church to talk to God – you can talk to him anywhere”.
Which was good, because Papa Dan was more than a little hard of hearing in his later years, so I’m sure those conversations were pretty loud.
“Well, hello, love” was his standard greeting. He was a sentimental fellow, the type who saved birthday cards and as such, you spent twice as much time picking out his as you did anyone else’s, because he let you know that he pulled out those old cards and read them when he was sad or feeling lonely.
Papa Dan was a man of opinion, there was no denying it, and when he got on a roll, well, you settled in and listened. He definitely had something to say about everything (and I learned to avoid conversations about politics) but in reading some of his jottings, now that he is gone, I’ve realized that many of these strong feelings came from a concern about what the world would be like for future generations.
Of everything he said, the phrase that has stuck with me the longest was “Let go and let God” (and there is some debate as to whether it was “let God and let go”, but it works either way for me). It was a fantastic piece of advice – and something very difficult for a control freak such as myself to truly put into action. At least when I worried and fussed, I was doing SOMETHING, even if it wasn’t returning anything but indigestion or the occasional anxiety-formed canker sore.
Let go and let God. Giving up all your problems to another is such a seemingly simply and yet emotionally complex move.
Funny thing, though – every time I have done just this, said “I give up, God. I’ll let you handle it, it’s all yours”, a solution has dropped in my lap.
Just like that.
Some will say it is coincidence, or karma. I tend to see it for what it is, a gift. A blessing.
Does it make it easier to “give it up” the next time I am struggling with something? Nope. (Remember? Control freak?) And I’ll be honest, my grandfather lived a much simpler life than most of us do.
But eventually, finally, I will (hopefully) get to that place.
And I’ll let God.
And I’ll thank Papa Dan, too.